Inconvenient Obedience


I wrote the following in my journal this morning:  "This season of Lent has been the longest and most grueling of any that I can remember." 

I can't recall a season of Lent quite like this one, within which I've been confronted so harshly by my own frailty and busted-ness.  But then again, maybe I've got a short memory.  Maybe every season of Lent is filled with those kinds of confrontations, and I've simply let the memory of facing them fade.   

At this moment, I am longing for Resurrection Sunday.  I know that it will come.  It's just beyond this last bit of the journey.  But it's this last bit of the journey that makes all the difference, isn't it?  This last bit of the journey is with Jesus on the road to passion and to Calvary.  

I read this crazy-awesome description of these last days of Lent from Walter Brueggemann, who wrote: "It is the journey of relinquishment of old visions of reality that are failed and being surprised by new life given in glad, inconvenient obedience." 

The question on my mind today is, "Can I find the 'glad' in the 'inconvenient obedience' to which I am being called?"  I wonder sometimes.  I want so desperately to feel the giddy, heart-bursting joy of Easter but I don't want to have to walk the Via Dolorosa with Jesus.  

Who wants that?  Which of us would really be able to face the reality of the Cross and say to God as Jesus did, "Not my will but thy will be done?"  

Truth be told, we all want our own will to be done in those moments.  We want all the redemption without the repentance.  We want to be rescued without sacrifice.  We want to experience resurrection without tasting death.  

In the words of singer/songwriter David Crowder, "Everybody wants to go heaven, but no one wants to die."  

As you near the end of this Lenten journey, take the time today to reflect on what needs to die and be reborn in your life.  What about your life needs to find its way to the Cross and be crucified there in order to be raised to newness and hope?  

May you find gladness in the inconvenient obedience it will take to die to yourself in these last days on the Lenten path.  May you be filled with audacious hope---because "Sunday's comin'...  it's comin'."

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.    

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