Saturday, March 30, 2013

It Is Finished

This marks my 40th blog from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Technically, I failed in my attempt to compose 40 blogs over the course of the 40 days of Lent. We are currently in the season of the Triduum, the Church's shortest liturgical season and the period of time from Holy Thursday night until Holy Saturday's Easter Vigil. So, number 40 should have come before sundown on Thursday. Regardless, the task is complete.

It is finished.

As I've reflected over these past few days about what I'd say in this final blog, I've thought a lot about the irony in that my final blog, 40/40, would be about simplifying our lives. We are bombarded by messages. Think about the number of texts, emails, phone calls, and pieces of mail you receive on any given day. Then, think about the number of things that you "should" be checking up on - news, work or school related updates, financial statements, bills, church bulletins and other source of information in which you have a vested interest. Now, sprinkle in all of the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs and any other social media sights that you're plugged into and you have, in paragraph form, all of the ways that you are being inundated with information in a day.

Well, almost. Add in any time spent watching TV, listening to the radio, actually talking with real, live humans and then you have all of the ways in which you receive information in a day. Consider, though, which of these ways actually fill you with life? How many of your emails or texts? How many of the songs to which you listen? How about Facebook, Twitter, etc. updates? Does it really matter that Miley Cyrus just ate dinner? Does it really matter that this is the 40th blog out of 40 between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday?

How would our lives be different with less information bombarding us? Or, how would your life be different if you only devoted time to the things - hopefully people - that really matter? How would our lives be different if one of the sources of information bombarding us was actually God? This isn't to say that He's not communicating; it is to say that we're not listening. How different would your life be if you actually had more time to hear God's word and then had more time and energy to actually listen to it?

I don't participate in many of the informational avenues mentioned above; remember that my phone is still dumb. I don't respond to work emails past 9 p.m. I barely text. I make a point to connect with my wife and daughters every day. I don't watch TV. And, I don't make or take enough time to hear and listen to God's word. I already feel saturated.

So, again, I feel it is ironic that I have potentially saturated the lives of those who have been with me over the past 40 blogs with just another noisy gong banging for their attention and doing nothing more than numbing their heads. I am sorry if my musings have done anything except point you to God. I hope they have been life giving. I hope that they have been insightful. I hope and pray that even one of them has caused you to reflect more, pray more, laugh more, cry more, love more, live more.

But, I hope that they haven't just added to the clutter.

Despite the extra burden of writing a blog a day (more or less), I feel that this exercise really has brought me closer to Jesus. Taking the time to create as opposed to just receive has kept a lot of unwelcome information away. It has forced me to search for sources of inspiration. It has challenged me to live with the eyes, ears and heart of faith straining my senses and my sensibilities to see, hear and accept God's messages.

I have tried, in my incredibly limited way, to pass these messages along.

So here is one final message: It is finished; it's also time to begin.

Soon and very soon there won't be any more crying and there won't be any more dying; we are going to see the King.

My Lenten journey is just about over. Yours is, too. In the spirit of this blog post I plan to go off line for at least a few days. But, true to the spirit of this message, I won't stop blogging. Lent is over. Easter, however, is about to begin.

Don't be fooled by the messages - He's in the tomb, the stone is too large for anyone to move, there is no hope, He is dead. In this way, be careful and purposeful about what gets your time and attention. Both are precious and valuable and worthy of your intentionality as to how they are allotted.

Give them to God. Give everything to God.

Seek Him. Find Him. Hear Him. Listen to Him. Follow Him.

You won't find Him or His messages in the tomb. The stone is rolled away...Sunday's coming.