One of my father’s favorite adages went: Slow and steady wins the race; not the fast, uneven pace. It’s taken from a fable by Aesop about the tortoise and the hare. As we sit here halfway through Lent, that adage goes through my head a lot.
~Some folks are excited for Lent to be over, so they can go back to (fill in the blank – eating chocolate, going back to swearing or complaining, watching “The Voice”). They are living in the future, which means that they may not be aware of what is going on in the here and now. Sort of defeats the purpose of Lent, huh?
~Some folks suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome – they latch onto an idea, a fad, a new way of doing something (or even a new church) and dive straight into the deep end. They want to get involved in everything, be a part of everything then……….oops! Another Shiny Object comes by, and off they go. They are missing the dailyness of learning about things, the slower process that allows things to be absorbed fully.
~Some folks come to me and want to learn ‘how to be a Christian’ in the same way they learn how to perform CPR, or how to carve a turkey. Even my father – who was so very fond of the above adage – was frustrated because he didn’t want to learn to read music – he just wanted to learn how to play a song!!! When it is explained that following Jesus is a lifelong journey, and we never get all the answers, and we learn something at least every other day if not every day --- well, that doesn’t suit. They are wanting a fast track approach to being God centered. If one exists, I’d love to know. Or maybe not. I can only learn so much in one day, and the journey is far to interesting and wonderful.
Be here now. Slow down and listen. Take time to know who is around you in the pews. Realize that our lives are marathons, and not sprints. Be in it for the long haul.