This is Not About Feeling Like You Suck

It’s been almost one week since we received our Lenten coin jars. As you reflect on the last several days, I invite you to wonder…

What has it been like to commit to taking a minute each day to put coins in your bank? Has it been a time of prayer? A time of relief and focus from a busy day? One more thing you have to remember to do…or feel bad about not remembering to do?

In my short time at St. Peter’s, I can tell we are a community where, among many other things, most of us are 1) super busy and 2) trying the best we can. Sometimes, when we combine those qualities with trying a new practice, it can kind of…suck. Because we want to do everything well/right, and we don’t want to feel like we’re letting anyone (especially God!) down.

Even in Lent, God does not want us to take on practices that make us feel like we suck. Is it a time to recognize our limitations? Yes. Re-evaluate our priorities? Probably. A time to remember we can we never do as much on our own as we can with God’s help? Totally. These are great Lenten reflections.

But, at the end of this first week of Lent, if your find yourself focused on the days you didn’t put coin in your bank or that you forgot to talk to your kids about why it’s important to give, then let’s pause. Take a breath. And remember God’s words…

“Isn’t this the fast I choose…
If you stop trampling the Sabbath,
stop doing whatever you want on my holy day,
and consider the Sabbath a delight,
sacred to the Lord, honored,
and honor it instead of doing things your way,
seeking what you want and doing business as usual,
then you will take delight in the Lord.
I will let you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will sustain you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 58:6, 13-14)

These coin banks, this spiritual practice of giving, is about creating space to take delight in God…and taking delight in that very act of creating space, being open. What are the most realistic and life giving ways for you to do that? Is it putting your bank by the coffee maker, because you have some alone time early in the morning? Is it placing it on the bathroom sink, so kids can put in a few coins after they brush their teeth? Is it asking God to help you give yourself a break so you can focus on what God might be trying to awaken in your heart this Lent?

This is not about feeling like you suck. It’s about reconnecting with a God who knows, if we can make a little space, that we have so much to give. A God who takes great delight in and has endless love for you.

If you feel stuck with any of this, Claire and I are here to explore these questions with you.

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