Psalm 84:10 NIV
“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”
When I was 19 years old I was a janitor at a local high school in Maine. I had just completed the Appalachian Trail and missed enrollment back at college. I needed a job for the almost half a year until the Fall semester started back up and was given a hook up by my cousin who ran the custodian department. I was really quite lucky. Although I was 19 I really looked 14 and I would often get stopped by teachers in the hallway telling me I needed to get back to class or questioning me what I was doing with the Janitor’s equipment. I would be scrubbing the toilets and students would be mocking me. As I’ve shared before I have had many jobs where I was humbled and honored to do hard work and honest work. It all shaped me to be the leader and man I am today.
Our scripture reminds us that it is better to serve God in difficult situations rather than having an easy life without God. For many of us we teeter on that fine edge of comfort and faith. God calls us to comfort the afflicted but also to afflict the comfortable. The promise is never easy living but rather that we can do all things through Christ. Our world constantly tricks us into believing that the world has so much more to offer than the life of faith. And yet, we often find ourselves tapped out and drained when we don’t make enough time for prayer, meditation, fasting, being in community, and having Holy Communion.
I hope this Lenten season you are finding yourself drawing closer to God through an increase in spiritual practices. Perhaps you are still finding yourself super busy with work, family, friends, life in general and haven’t quite found a renewed rhythm with your spiritual life. I want to encourage you to do as Brene Brown encourages-Live B.I.G. Brene Brown shares this idea in her book Rising Strong of setting Boundaries with folks, living and acting with Integrity, being Generous with your assumptions. Learning to say no when appropriate, being true with who you are, and giving people the benefit of the doubt- allowing you to be more intentional with others and your own life.
I pray as we journey together towards the cross and the empty cross you are able to find your faith rekindled again this Lenten season. I pray you may yet still see God desperately at work in your life and in your faith. It is better to be but a doorkeeper in the house of God (and yet you are to sit at the table set by God) rather than dwell in the tents of the wicked (and yet the world is so good at looking so good).
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
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