GETTING BACK ON THE LENTEN WAGON
“A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin. The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” (Prov 21: 4-5)
Throughout our Lenten journey, for almost six weeks now, we have had a reading at weekday-Vespers from the most “practical” book of the Bible, Proverbs. These readings, (including the one for today, part of which is quoted above), offer me practical, “how to” bits of ancient wisdom, on wise and healthy living. We have these readings specifically during Lent, because Lent is, among other things, a time of both physical and spiritual renewal; of healthy work-habits, eating-habits, praying-habits, resting-habits, and healthy “plan-making” for all this, on a daily basis. In the passage quoted above, I’m reminded to approach this Tuesday of the sixth week of Lent with 1. Humility, which is a gentle kind of honesty about myself and others, rather than wishful thinking, and 2. A “plan” that is “diligent” rather than “hasty,” which means that I am to have both persistence and patience, throughout my “plan” or schedule for today.
As the end of Lent draws near, with the “forty” days to be completed this Friday, I once again pick up its helpful tools, like the bits of wisdom in the above-quoted reading, and let them inform my workday. And if I’ve lost my Lenten focus at some point, throughout this almost-six-week journey, I re-embrace patience, humility, and diligence this morning, encouraged by this new day, another day of Lenten renewal, offered to me this Tuesday. “O Lord and Master of my life, grant me not a spirit of idleness, despondency, love of power, and idle talk.”