Psalm 95:1-7 Proverbs 16:1-3 Philippians 4:10-13 Luke 14:1, 7-14
The words from Proverbs today are both terrifying and comforting to me. The plans of the heart belong to man, the writer says. I can relate to these plans of the heart—my efforts to find love, a career path, to change my lifestyle, and all those wishes I make on my birthday. But, the scripture reminds me, these are not from God. They are my own desires, part of what makes me human and not divine.
The next line follows: but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. Perhaps this means that what comes to pass is God’s answer to our human desires. It takes the activity of prayer for me to be able to hear an answer from God.
The Lenten season is an especially prayerful one. Today’s readings remind me that prayer can take place not when I am planning my path but when I am aware that I am not alone in the journey. It can be that space where we let go of our efforts to be the masters of our own destiny, where we can listen to the world outside of us—and what God is telling us through it.
May we listen ever closely this Lenten season.