Tuesday, February 28, 2012

End of First Week of Lent

This morning I had planned to write my thoughts about the end of the first week of Lent and then something happened today that pushed that out of my mind.

I had planned to share how much I love looking around the Las Vegas area this time of year. The mountains ringing our valley and the desert landscape that is still visible here and there throughout the city always makes me think of Christ's journey.

I can visualize his feet being dusty from the sands he walked through. I can easily imagine him trying to climb the mountains. At this point, a week after he began his retreat and prayers, he would surely have been deep into the wilderness and solitude. The lack of people would have helped him concentrate on the mission ahead of him.

It is easier for me to feel a kinship with him out here in the western surroundings. When I lived back east, for the first 40 years of my life, it was always in major cities or tourist cities. Back then, I had to work hard to picture his travels. But not here - here it is easy for me.

Then, mid-day, my nephew got a call from his job. His manager told him he was being "let go."

We had sort of expected this. He's been there about 7 months. About two months after he began the job, ownership changed hands. Typically, in a lot of small businesses, particularly the hospitality or restaurant types, this means a change in personnel as well. We've been grateful that he has been kept on for so long.

Frightening as this is for us, financially, I have this other feeling in the back of my mind. I have seen, many times, how the Lord cuts us loose from one activity, job, or undertaking, only to free us for something he has planned for us, something that is coming down the road. I am trying to be upbeat about this and not lose even one grain of faith.

I do admit that I am having a hard time keeping to my Lenten promise of giving up chocolate. I am pretending I do not see the little cup of mini-York patties on the kitchen counter (my nephew's "stash") or the two single mini-Reese's peanut butter cups in the closet. This latest wrinkle in our lives is a big one and so far, I have avoided the chocolate.

Father, I cannot wait to see what wonderful changes you have in store for this humble household. Be gentle with us, please, during this time. We are not saints but our faith is honest and we await the unfolding of your plans.

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