By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 1, …journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded
The now liberated people of God ‘journey by stages’ through the wilderness en route to the land of promise. The piecemeal nature of their journey—of any undertaking, really—provides a resonant metaphor for us as we make our way through Lent. As we say at Mercy, so often in fact that it has become one of our community in-words, God’s work with us is a ‘process,’ unfolding more slowly and with more challenges than we would like. It is our way of reminding ourselves to be patient at what Teihard de Chardin called the ‘slow work of God.’ We often lament it and wonder why it is so, but are we really so obsessed with ‘getting there’ and with fast-everything, that we cannot see that every moment is precious and that even the difficult times yield fruit we might not otherwise discover? Slowing down to take the world around us in is part of the discipline of Lent. And it’s not just for a season, either. Lent is a way of developing the practices that enliven the whole of our discipleship lives. The practice of mercy in relationship to the real needs of our sisters and brothers slows us down. Prayer and fasting slow us down. As we take the journey ‘in stages,’ trusting that this is indeed ‘as the Lord commanded,’ we discover God is leading us together toward promise and hope.
Prayer Saving God, help us to slow down, and trust your work in us and in the world.