As most of us are experiencing some type of snow today, I was reminded of an excerpt from a book I've enjoyed, "Sabbath in the Suburbs" (MaryAnn McKibben Dana). Her insight is a helpful one as we embark on the journey of Lent together. She raises this question, "I wonder if snow days are God's way of saying, 'If you won't take a Sabbath for yourself, I'm going to enforce one with this cold manna-type stuff. Have some cocoa and relax, will ya?'"
I have experienced a few days or in some cases a whole week of winter conditions that shut things down in the south. It's a rare occasion where you really are forced to rest, relax, enjoy time with family and experience some Sabbath. But, what about the rest of the year, when weather conditions don't cause us to stop? How do we take time to experience Sabbath rest?
This week marks the beginning of our Lenten journey together, starting tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. Since Lent is part of the journey of faith I would invite you to think about where you are as we begin. What have been the challenges of your walk with Christ so far? The ups? The downs? The blind alleys? The backtracks? The side trips? The spiritual companions along the way? Take time to write a postcard to God as you prepare for your experience with Lent this year. Take a picture with your phone or camera or draw your own picture. You could pose a question to God, ask for guidance, describe where you are right now on the journey, or give thanks for those who have walked with you.
God provides for our needs just as he did for the Israelites when they journeyed in the wilderness. Maybe it's not manna and quail or a snow day, but if you stop to look back on where you've been so far you can name times, places, or people that God has provided. As we start these 40 days, look closely for how God may be using you to share your experiences with others.
Prayer for Today
Gracious God, you are our way in the wilderness. In our times of testing be our spiritual nourishment. You are the manna, our source of life. Help us to come to you and receive all the good things you offer us, by worshiping and serving you alone; through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.