Pathways through Lent, Uncategorized

Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Lent

Taking Stock of Our Lives

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights.”

Matthew 4:1-2

For forty days, Jesus was tempted. As we mark our forty days of Lent and take stock of our lives before Easter, we too are tempted. In our very commercial society, the whole purpose of advertising is to tempt us. Whether it’s fancy chocolates, flashy clothes or sleek cars, we find temptation all around us. To test our mastery over those temptations, we often give up something small but visible—sweets, or movies, or something we hold dear—even if only temporarily.

But temptations do not come only in the “good” things. Sometimes they come in the “just good enough” things. We are tempted to do less than we can, to be content with a partial rather than a full commitment to some worthy endeavor. We agree to join a volunteer group, but then don’t put our full weight behind it. We commit to a course of action and don’t follow through after minimal effort.

As we take stock of our lives this Lent, let us ask ourselves, have we settled for the “just good enough” in charting a new path or paths for ourselves, perhaps just paying lip service to a new beginning? Have we set our bar so low that it is easily crossed but inadequate for real achievement? We can sometimes be our own harshest judges, but at least we should with clear eyes assess whether we are ready to be God’s hands here on Earth.

Powell Hutton

Appointed readings for today: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, Psalm 46:1-8, John 5:1-18

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