The Ingredients of Life

n Jeremiah, God complains about the people who have “stiffened their necks.” In Luke, Jesus says, The one who is not with me is against me. The one who does not gather with me scatters.

It’s sort of like saying to children, “the bogyman’s going to get you if you aren’t good.” Is it any wonder people turn away from organized religion when judgment is leveled against us while at the same time we are exhorted not to judge?

My experience of the holy has a peace and a comfort and a clarity. The judgment I’ve experienced in my life also come from within when I make judgments against others.

How do we reconcile the contradictions? Do we become cafeteria-Christians, taking only that which appeals to our tastes; or do we become connoisseurs, learning, testing, using ingredients with care?

Every Lent, it seems, if we’re paying attention, we get to review and recommit to this journey. Over and over. Are we with? Are we against? Sometimes we’re both at the same time.

Are tension and anger, judgment and righteousness replacing compassion and peace? Today might be a good day for us to recommit to the journey, recommit to peace, and remember, once again, to use our life-ingredients with care.

2 thoughts on “The Ingredients of Life

  1. susansayings says:

    It’s been a rough Lent. I’ve made so many mistakes, I can’t keep up with apologizing. Work’s been a train wreck–even more than usual.
    And yet, I received sweet daisies from Liz, my daughter in NYC at my office today, and family and friends I don’t often see have sent supportive messages on Facebook.
    I feel humbled by such love. Maybe Lent isn’t just about what I’ve taken upon myself, or my own judgment of myself. Maybe it’s also about being more aware and grateful for the kind people and good things that come to us, even when we’re having a rough time following our intentions.

  2. Janet Sunderland says:

    Maybe Lent isn’t about judgment at all. Maybe it’s about observation. Maybe it’s about forgiveness. I don’t know if judgment ever serves – against ourselves or others. It’s about learning. And that seems to be what’s going on with you. Not bad at all.

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