The challenge never stated if it was public or private confession. Not that I have anything against private confession. I do seek private confession on a regular basis myself. But I think the gist of this challenge is to open yourself to the world, not necessarily confessing a sin, but a secret. It is to be vulnerable.
For the many of you that know me, I am bombastic, gregarious and larger then life individual sometimes. Not meaning that I am awesome (which I am *wink wink*) but rather that I put forward a front of confidence and self assuredness.
I seem at ease with people and in most situations. I stride from problem to problem, person to person always seeming in control.
The secret…really I am terrified. I am terrified that I will fail. I am terrified that I will not be good enough. I am terrified of disappointing those I love.
My secret is that behind the strong and confident exterior is a very small and scared boy.
I was really looking forward to this challenge. I enjoy seeing how others worship. Unfortunately I have been just so busy leading up to Holy Week I took the time to finish some work for Good Friday. In essence challenged failed. I didn’t go.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t go. I will make this up in Eastertide.
Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone. A very poignant reading from John’s gospel and one we often need to be reminded off. One we take to heart at St Andrew Memorial
Whether in Lent, or anytime of year it is always good to be reminded that we all fall, we all sin. Some will sin one way and others another. Yet part of loving your neighbour has yourself is offering grace and mercy, and leaving the judgment to God.
There are two things that bother me. 1) Check book Christianity and 2) Donating things people don’t need.
I understand the basis of this challenge. To enrich the lives of kids and lessen the burden felt by the school system. The thing is, I have no idea what they need. I could go out and buy a bunch of stuff, paints, crayons and such. But they could also way too much of that and not enough construction paper.
So I am left in a pickle. I know what it is like when people donate too much of one thing and not enough of another. But I also know what it is like to simply write a cheque and walk away. There is no encounter with people. There is not the action of going to the store, buying something and delivering it. The writing of a cheque is impersonal.
So what to do when caught between the two positions? Cave and write a cheque. To assuage me of my guilt, I did pen a letter explaining the reasons for the cheque rather then art supplies.
This one is tough for me. Not because I don’t like the concept, but I normally either save all my garage sale items for the church’s garage sale, or I donate them to Goodwill or Mission Services.
But I do love the concept of having something that you no longer need and offering it to any who like to come and pick them up. So I decided that I would offer up my old golf clubs on Freecycle to any who want them.
They are like 30 some odd years old…and as of now..no takers
Okay I bought a couple. But here is the thing, I have a drawer full of canvas shopping bags. My biggest problem is that I need to keep these shopping bags in the car rather then at home, because I stop at the store on the way home.
But I do get the idea, I am just always bad at implementing this idea.
I have had many teachers throughout my academic career.
There were my instructors at Algonquin College for my Motor Vehicle Mechanics Certification. There were some really good professors at Carleton University, especially in my major of Philosophy. There have outstanding professors at Huron, both in my Master’s of Divinity and Master’s of Arts.
But there are a few that stand out. They are people that have greatly affected me and shaped me in my life and in my ministry. I prayed about it and I distilled it down to one professor. So I wrote that professor a thank you note and will deliver it later in the week.
This got me wondering…do we stop enough, look back and reflect upon all those people that helped us become who we are enough? Do we tell them thank you? Do we let them know how instrumental they were in our lives? And I would suspect the answer is not nearly enough.
So how will my note be received? I have no idea. But I do hope that it will make them smile, brighten their day and help affirm them in their vocation.
Yesterday I lit a virtual Candle. It was rather unsatisfying.
Today I lit a real candle for someone. Each time I passed by the candle I was reminded of the person I have been praying for. Each time I saw the light I was reminded of the light of Christ in each of us. Each time I passed the candle I was reminded of hope.
This is a practice I need to continue. Perhaps St Andrew Memorial could use a small votive station?
Sitting at my computer, working my way through the app to light a virtual candle seems like an inventive way to pray and light a candle for whatever is on your mind. And I was kind of looking forward to it in a way.
But then I lit the candle, left the page and promptly forgot about the candle I had “lit” and the prayers that were said. It felt like the hitting the like button on someones post on Facebook. Yes I read it, but I can’t be bothered to write something to you.
Lighting a real candle, it burns in front of you. The smoke rises up like incense, like our prayers to the Lord.
So while I love technology and find my ways of using the web for ministry and evangelism. This one just didn’t work for me.
I really wanted to bake a cake. Mostly cause I would love to eat said cake. But I was just so swamped yesterday that I just blew off my lenten challenge.
Of course bake a cake day couldn’t have been more appropriate, now could it? Just when I am too busy, too stressed and too flustered around comes some intentional time too put it all aside and just be for a little while.
So I didn’t bake a cake yesterday. But I do think I got the point of the challenge and I have learned from it.
So when I head home tonight, I promise that I will make it up, bake a cake…maybe some cookies and few other things. I will give myself the time to unwind and relax. And I might, just might have a glass of wine too.