Pathways through Lent, Uncategorized

Saturday in the Second Week of Lent

Heeding The Call

A voice says, “Call out.”
Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”
All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.

 

The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.

 

The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.

Isaiah 40:6-8

Today is my birthday. Every year that I’ve submitted to Pathways, I have requested this date (being editor makes it a little more certain that happens!). I ask for it because I continue to love birthdays, even if they have become more melancholy, an occasion for taking stock and reflecting. I don’t suppose that makes me unusual.

So it is this year: I find myself remembering my mom scolding me as a kid for forgetting to do things—take out the garbage, set the table, do my homework, whatever—without being reminded.

And I also think about how, lots of years later, I haven’t made so much progress. I am still too distracted by the minutiae of the day-to-day, looking ahead to something coming up or wallowing in nostalgia—and forgetting what is truly important. It’s a terrible waste of time, and it’s a shame when there is so much that needs to be done—and when I have so much to enjoy and be grateful for in the here and now.

But life has helped me out, giving me a much needed but terrible reminder: a high school friend died last week, only a year older than I am today, and in seemingly perfect health. He left two teenaged sons and a huge circle of friends and colleagues who loved him: he was a devoted father, a community activist and youth sports coach, and an avid competitive swimmer—but one better known for cheering on others than for pushing for his own results. The sort of person, in other words, who rarely forgot to enjoy and make the most of every day he was given and really strove to make a difference in his world.

Even if I struggle to make sense of such a loss, I can try to follow his example: to let his passing be my “call out.” And try not to need reminding again.

Thomas Stork

Appointed readings for today: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Psalm 103, Luke 15:11-32

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