We are half way through Lent! Are you getting tired? Is the discipline you adopted hard or is it bringing you joy? A friend of mind went off self-pity for Lent and she is really learning a lot!
It may be around this time that you begin to ask yourself, “Why did I try this?” I usually go off coffee and I am sick and tired of tea right now! Why do we give ourselves more rules, more restrictions? What is the purpose?
Many of you are reading the book Wondrous Encounters this Lent. In this book of meditations, Richard Rohr explains why even the most open-minded Christian needs that law and needs rules. He claims that we cannot know God without some rules and disciplines for they provide “containers” within which to encounter God.
Rohr says that Jesus is like a live wire. If we touched him directly, we would burn. Our human minds and hearts are not capable of drinking in the Divine like a firehose, so we are given the law to give us small bites. He writes, “You can only get Great Contents little by little, in stages and doses, when ready, and when you yourself are at the deeper levels.” (p. 69)
Rohr also refers to the law as “training wheels.” And he teaches that one day, we will know God and we will not need rules or disciplines to help us.
When I walk my new puppy, I have to put him on a leash. Neither of us like the leash, but he is safe and he doesn’t run in the road. He learns to walk by my side and not get underfoot. Ella, my older lab, can walk without a leash for she obeys my commands and will sit when a car comes. One day, I hope that the puppy will learn to walk free too.
So I give up coffee and I try to think about God when I crave it. And I don’t like it, but I suppose it is my training wheels, my leash, to help guide me to remember what is truly important and who I really depend on when I wake up each day.
In Christ’s love,
Tags: Lent / Self-Discipline