Our Lenten readings today really hit home the point about the importance of having faith without expecting constant signs, direction, or affirmation from God about how we are doing. It reminds me of the challenges facing parents these days, as well as anyone tasked with leading a team. We know that the “right” path as shepherds is to ensure the creation of a toolkit for our charges: foundational skills, clear expectations, and self-reliance so that the ecosystem can flow and achievements can be made. But how often do we want to intervene and “build the model ourselves” for them to save time and/or pain? How often do we pursue short term gratification instead of long term sustainability?
We are also reminded in the readings to learn from the lessons we have already been taught. Jesus says to the crowd in the Gospel of Luke not to expect yet ANOTHER sign – that they know what to do and expect from the lesson of Jonah in Nineveh, and from the example that Jesus has set for us with His love and sacrifice.
God is with us everywhere: supporting us, celebrating our victories, and comforting any sadness; but we should not expect His micromanagement. As Psalm 51 says, let us aim to live with “a clean heart” and a “right spirit,” and demonstrate the faith that God will save and sustain us. Then we must bravely use the compass that our faith has provided to navigate the path of our lives as productively and joyfully as possible.
Links to the appointed readings for today: