Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Wednesday in Lent 1

The thought that one might have a blood clot in one's leg, and knowledge of what that can lead to, works better than ashes to remind one of one's own mortality. At least that has been my experience in the last twenty-four hours. I didn't really think: this is it. But one cannot avoid the niggling thought that this might be it.

I try to sleep far from the phone. While I have the capacity for phones in at least six rooms of my house I limit it to the kitchen downstairs and my office upstairs. My heart races too quickly if a phone rings beside my bed, thank you very much. And it's just unpleasant. But last night I had the cell phone charging right next to the bed just in case I needed to call 911.

Pfaugh! I don't like living that way. Still, it would have been imprudent to have had the nearest phone across the hall.

Today I know the relief of someone who gets negative test results. It is NOT that which you feared. So even though I have a nasty infection, it's overwhelmingly likely to respond well to the meds and I expect to be fine.

Psalm 49 reminds us all that rich or poor, wise or fool, none of us lives forever.

Psalm 49:16-17 (BCP)

More sobering stuff, though encouraging if it reminds us all that we expend way too much energy pursuing illusions. There is the familiar saying (with many variants) that "he who dies with the most stuff wins." What irony. No matter how much stuff you had, you're still dead and now it means nothing.

We clearly need reordering of our priorities. Again and again.

Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above. (John 3.3)

Talk about reordering! We know what it is to be born from below. But this "from above" stuff? How does that work? Nicodemus wondered and - two millennia of theological pondering later - we still can't pin it down. We can't pin down the Spirit. Just doesn't work.

Here's to new birth. Birth from above. Turning around. Renewed and reordered priorities, priorities that have been purified and seasoned with grace.

May we pursue what is truly worthwhile.

Bless us, O God, in this holy season, in which our hearts seek your help and healing; and so purify us by your discipline that we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

--the BB


it's margaret said...

What a terrible scare.... so, this is good new BB --very good news. I hope what ails you clears up quickly and without lasting effect.

FranIAm said...

Paul, so glad you do not have a clot. Your post was so gripping here, the way you describe the phones, your feelings.

Change, change... deep change and the re-ordering of priorities.


Paul said...

It is a very long time since I took on a Lenten discipline - unless we count trying to do a daily reflection, but that's it. I have always found God, life, life in community, other people, and my own frailty to provide all the fodder required for Lent, so I don't go looking for it. It seems, Fran, that you are right and we are always in the midst of deep change. We just need to pay attention.

Yes, Margaret, very good news. I went to Kirtan Mass tonight as an act of thanksgiving.