I realize that the title of my post on giving up perfection for Lent was unintentionally ambiguous. It implied that I was perfect and yet, out of some desire to claim my humanity, that I was giving up the perfection that was mine. My friends and I had quite a joke about it when I posted the title on Facebook. But, nothing could be further from the truth. While I try hard to do my best, that best is never perfect. Perhaps, you, too, have seen the same in your lives.
Today, the title is ambiguous intentionally. In order to live a life that is full and is seeking wholeness, we need to be grateful for what we have. At times, when I have been ill and then well again, I can feel that wellness as a sense of vigor and life surging through me. I am grateful for that feeling of invigoration. I have several times thought that ‘this’ time, I will not lose that sense of gratitude, but then, distracted by day to day events, that vibrant gratitude to be alive fades.
With all around us in chaos, with wars raging in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya, with violence in Jerusalem, earthquakes and tsunamis, I realize again that gratitude for my life and for my loved ones.
This week a beloved woman died, leaving behind many lives she touched as a choir director in schools, in the church, and in the wider community. I am grateful that I had the chance to meet her and get to know her. For her service tomorrow, I will read an excerpt of Psalm 46 to remind us of where our hope and help come. I am grateful for the scriptures, their beauty and their message. I cling to them when all around is shaking. And, we had a lot of earth shaking this past two weeks, literally and figuratively. When you are afraid, remember the following, and be grateful for what you have. Practice being grateful for the small things, now and for the rest of your life – Have gratitude for life.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
Our hope is not of this world but in the peace and strength of God.
Psalm 121: 1-2
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.