As we approach the final two weeks of lent we are given directions for the final steps our journey, the readings today speak to us about the struggles of life, about dying to self, about beginning again. Today’s readings offer us strong examples of people that are confused and are struggling with their faith, struggling with who they are and who they are trying to become.
In the story of Lazarus we have Jesus struggling with the loss of his good friend and the moaning and gowning of Martha and the beginning of Jesus’ climb to Calvary.
Struggles are what our life’s journey is all about.
I am what you might call a Basketball junky. This is my time of year.
The NCAA tournament right down to our own high school state basketball championships. I am either up late at night catching the final minutes of a college semi-final game or getting up early to find out how some my favorite teams made out.
If you look at any of the Sport pages these days they are filled with stories and pictures of winners and losers. It’s easy to be a winner.
It seems to come naturally. We don’t have to be taught how to win, but it seems that we certainly need to learn how to lose.
I can remember a coach a few years ago, whose team was expected to win it all, but lost to a team that some felt shouldn’t even be in the tournament. He said in a TV interview, that this was not a loss, but just a temporary setback. The journey will continue because we didn’t reach our destination. I don’t think we were put here to win championships;
We are here to learn how to play the game and part of playing the game is learning how to lose and to grow stronger because of the loss… to grow stronger because of the Struggle.
Last week our Intern Matt Pilfer spoke to us about dying. And how we all have a lot of dying to do before our Easter will come.
Death and dying can come to us in many different ways.
- The death of a loved one.
- The death of special plans and goals that were made.
- The death of youth as we age.
- The death of losing a job.
What we should learn from today’s readings is that in the deaths and failures that we experience in our lives we will always find the promise of new life.
Failures become successes,
dying to ourselves and our present life… moves us closer to a better way of living and being.
This is what our Christian lives are all about;
As we approach the end of our Lenten journey, let us all be thankful of the struggles we encounter in our lives, because these are truly the stepping stones that draw us closer to our own Resurrection.