Saturday after Ash Wednesday

The forty days of Lent are a mirror of the days Jesus spent in the desert after John baptized him. It’s a familiar story: Jesus goes to pray, to fast. And Satan comes to him and tempts him. At a later point in the Matthew story (4:10), Jesus says, “Away with you Satan!”

There’s the line for today.

I just carefully planned out my day, a full day for a Saturday with a lot of computer work in it, and then I asked my husband his plans. Oh. He needs a couple of hours on the computer for school work – and sort of in the middle of when my plans hit. Yes, we have a laptop and other means of work, but the PC, the one hooked to the printer and the one with the big screen, and the one with all the files, is our WORK computer.

And suddenly, that fast, without even thinking, I felt overwhelmed. I have taxes to do for the farm! my head fretted. Thankfully, my mouth didn’t. But the weight of the to-do list lay heavy.

But then I came in to my writing corner and the little laptop that limps along in our lives, and I wondered what I could write about Lent today. And at the same time, my head was wrapping itself around the time frames of work (laundry, getting ready for church, sermon prep, taxes, staying on top of marketing for a new book), and I picked up one of my Lenten booklets to read.

“Discouragement at times seems inescapable, but to remain in this state is a waste of time, energy, and life. When we learn to put discouragement aside, we can get on with life. We are limited only by our willingness to discover these alternatives.”

Oh. Yeah. I can put things on a flash drive and move in here. I can still be productive, even if limited in my scope, while my husband is productive (and while he does the laundry!) and I can put discouragement aside.

Ah. Or as the Gospel of Matthew says, “Away with you Satan.”

So take a moment, breathe, give yourself a chance to see the breakthrough in your life, and then tell me the story of how it happened for you.

.

4 thoughts on “Saturday after Ash Wednesday

  1. Susan says:

    I had worried that it might snow Friday night, the night of my sister’s sixtieth birthday party, scheduled for locations north of the river, where driving is less comfortable for me. I followed the weather forecasts and let go of my worries as predictions of no measurable snowfall came forth.

    Confidently, i drove to dinner and then to my brother and sister-in-law’s house, enjoying the festive company–until my sister-in-law’s son called and told us it was slick on 635–that he’d spun out and gone off the road. He wasn’t injured fortunately, nor was his car, but my confidence waned.

    I’m not one to invite myself to stay overnight with anyone–especially without notice, but I reminded myself that I had no reason to drive home on slick roads in the dark, unfamiliar territory–no reason other than pride.

    So, i asked if I could stay overnight, and of course, that was no big deal at all. In fact, I enjoyed the morning conversation around the kitchen table with other family there, and set the tone for a more relaxed weekend in which my pride stepped aside for my simple desire to enjoy my time off and my family and friends. I chose to deny pride the privilege of being the “boss of me.”

    1. Susan says:

      Thank you, Janet. I so identify with the temptations of Christ! The trick is recognizing temptations for what they are, and seeing Spirit is always present and trustworthy.

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