Tag Archives: lent

Wilderness times

Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days and nights. He was tempted by satan, and depending which account you read he was fasting also. He was in this desert, a vast, featureless landscape, with no one and nothing nearby. Utterly alone, abandoned, apparently, by God.

With nothing to distract him, his thoughts come tumbling over each other, unable to keep track or to hold them, he is overwhelmed, his mind circling out of control. Questions with no answers, people too far away, worries he cannot ease, and the time dragging on with no hope of relief. And deep down the knowledge that soon, he still has a job to do.

This is not the wilderness we like to think of during lent. This isn’t an emptiness borne of giving up chocolate, or tea, or swearing. This isn’t the making time to pray a bit, or spend 10 minutes reading the bible each day. This isn’t a wilderness we can create,  which is neat and tidy and restricted to these 40 days. An experience which is slightly uncomfortable, but not too much, bearable because it is quantifiable.

This isn’t an experience which we choose for 6 weeks each year, and lets face it, if we could, we wouldn’t. But that’s not to say we’ve not been into this wilderness. Whether only for an hour or two, or for months or years at a time. Either way, we have been there, and because we have, we can understand.

It is in this place, in the grip of these feelings which we would like to forget, that Jesus spends these next 40 days and nights. He has been there too. We are not alone.

Positive lenten thinking

Ok, so I think ee beat me to it in the ‘this is a lenten blog’ stakes. But still, I shan’t let that put me off 😉 I was thinking about wanting to challenge myself this lent, and do something that would both help me to grow as a person, and also maybe help those around me.

Recently, I’ve been less positive than usual, if I’m honest. The job situation gets me down, more than I usually let on. There are *lots* of good things going on in my life as well, and when I remember and notice these, I feel better, lift myself out of it and carry on with renewed enthusiasm. So, this lent, I’ve decided to be positive. To make myself focus on one or two things each day that have been good. A kind of ‘count your blessings’ blog if you like. I know that when I’m feeling ok this will be easy, but harder when something gets me down. I hope that by concentrating on the good stuff, I’ll be reminded of the ways in which life is good right now, and of God’s presence with me through it all. And I might even be easier to cope with for those who take the force of my more negative moments..

So, starting in that vein, yesterday I had a day of work (no, thats not the positive!). I had a good chat over coffee about the start of my studies for the Local Preaching course, which was exciting and not too scary! I spent a pleasant half hour having my hair played with as part of my bridesmaids duties for a certain bride and in doing so managed to have a nice chat with said bride, and see my Godson who is more and more like a littler person everyday- the things I never noticed when I lived under the same roof suddenly amaze me each time 🙂 Oh, and then the other man in my life came all the way over from Brizzle in the evening, bringing me some choccies from home as well as his lovely self, which was very grin-worthy after 3 weeks apart 😀

There, how’s that for a start? I’ll see what today brings, and be back later.