Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thursday after Ash Wednesday: Allowing Ourselves to be Uncomfortable

“He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick – no food, no sack, no money in their belts.” – Mark 6:8

It’s that time of year again. We’ve gotten our ashes, perhaps thought about what we want to give up during Lent, or what we might try to do during this time. Basically, it’s time to get uncomfortable. And I’m not sure I like that idea right now. In fact, I’m not sure I ever have. Sure, growth and change are noble endeavors, but when it comes down to it that means a lot of hard work. A lot of moments of doubt and questioning: Am I doing the right thing? Is this really meant for me? Can I really do this?

Yet it’s precisely that discomfort – and allowing myself many times to sit with it – that creates space for God. Actually, it makes space for me to become more aware of God already at work in my life. In that uneasiness, I’m reminded of my inability to control, to know, and in some cases to even understand. There’s an invitation to let go of my way of thinking to make space for something new. Somehow in embracing the fog, clarity appears. I just have to show up to see it.

Recent changes echo this very deeply for me. Among other things, I just started a new job. It’s a turn I wasn’t expecting. My fear of going in circles again surfaced. Yet the invitation to take the walking stick was there, in terms of continuing to let go of what made sense to me, and embracing the journey itself. And I can say without a doubt that I have never felt so happy and fulfilled without understanding how or why at all. Only God. Those uncomfortable moments have turned into incredible ones, even now. Only God. 

What might God be inviting me to leave behind this Lent? What might He be inviting me to make more space for?

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day today, may the grace of God’s unique love for each of us find us in a deeper way.

reflected by Quyen Ngo

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