Two things occur to me as I read the lectionary texts for this First Sunday of Lent. Initially, as the sky clears after a night of snow here, Genesis announces God’s promise of the covenant that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood. I muse that I haven’t seen a rainbow – that amazing sign of God’s covenant – for a very long time. It’s not that I haven’t looked, nor do I think God has had a change of mind, but it does make one wonder – in light of all the devastating floods this past year – if we are paying enough attention. Happily we now know the vastness of the world as well as the cooperation that has been manifested after each tragedy, allowing the restoration of stricken areas through generosity and teamwork.
Secondly, and most likely due to the slow pace of life in my home for the past two weeks because of the nasty flu bug, it seems as if Valentine’s Day/Ash Wednesday was much longer ago than half a week. When I read “First Sunday of Lent” this morning, therefore, on the US Bishops website, I react with a surprised: “What!? So…all the “Lent-ing” so far was just practice…preamble, maybe?” and I wonder if the “Holy Season” will drag along seemingly forever. But that might not be a bad thing, given my lack of preparedness so far! Maybe I’m being given a second chance to wake up, to shake off the lethargy of inaction and make something of these next several weeks.
So in the hope that spring awaits at the end, I resolve to pay more attention beginning today, as I pray with the psalmist: Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God, my Savior!