I thought I was listening until my son’s friend said, “You’re not listening to me.” She was right. She wanted me to hear her story, her pain, and her trouble. I was playing junior therapist. So I stopped, put down my fork, and listened. I listened as she told us how her dad was not encouraging her, how he was different when no one was around, and how he did not understand. I listened until she stopped, but it was hard work for me. I wanted to ask the obvious things like, “Are you sure you are being fair?” and “Do you think you contribute to the problem?” It was even more difficult when silence took over, but I am glad I kept quiet.
Iam a food server’s nightmare. I stare at the menu, struggling to make that grand decision, “What will I eat?” Most times, I give up and order the “regular” just to avoid the thought process. Do you ever struggle with decisions? The twist of irony for me is that I am a decision scientist. I have made a decent living helping other people make decisions while often struggling to make my own.
I understand why one of the wisest men that ever lived asked God for wisdom instead of money or power. If I could have known what the future holds, I could have avoided some decisions that cost me. There are investments that I should have made and others that I wish I had not made. There are girls I dated I wish I had never dated. There are words I have spoken I wish I had never spoken. There are battles that I have fought I now wish I had let go.
It is interesting to see typically “ritual-free” evangelicals seeking increased meaning and depth in their Christian walk by trying out ancient church traditions. Lent is one of those traditions.
What is Lent? Lent is the age-old ritual in which a person gives up something for the 40 days prior to celebrating Easter. The idea behind Lent is that suffering prepares a person to more fully appreciate and celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
What does the Bible say about Lent?
Nothing. Lent is not prescribed or described in the Bible because it is a human, add-on to Christianity. The only reference to Lent is a negative reference to a pagan ritual linked by many scholars to the development of Lent as we know it (Ezekiel 8:14-15).
Lent, lentil beans, or liberty?
Did you know there is some incredible science behind what goes into a chocolate cake? Think about it for a minute. Who would eat two cups of flour? Who would eat a couple of teaspoons of baking powder? Who would eat raw cocoa? Very few people would eat any of the ingredients of a chocolate cake alone.
It is the science behind the cake that takes all of these independently bitter and bland ingredients and makes an incredible, light, rich, sweet, chocolate cake. Did you know that it is actually the baking powder, not the sugar, that neutralizes the bitterness in the cocoa? Amazing!
Life is often like chocolate cake. We are delivered many bitter experiences, events, and people. Once these bitter things are in our lives, we have two options: leave the bitterness there or sweeten the bitterness.
Hello, my name is Doug. I make and help others make followers. I teach, consult and speak on the art of following God. Read more…
February 24, 2013
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