One of my favorite lecturers in seminary once said to me, “I love to teach, I get paid to go to meetings.” Meetings. The word itself is so … evocative. Meetings can be necessary evils, inspiring collaborations, or infernal slogs. Sometimes they are compulsory information delivery vehicles where a company or parish receives reports from their leadership, and such meetings are necessary for transparency and an informed community. Sometimes meetings provide a space for brainstorming and the creation of ideas, the quality of which could not have been generated by individuals.
When I was in elementary school, I sang in the choir at my church. The only song I can remember singing was called “Have No Fear Little Flock.” This was my grandfather’s favorite song and each day that I would go over to his house, he would ask me to come over to his chair and sing the first line to him…
One of my kids recently had the flu. On day three, he had a fever of 104. On day four, his fever had broken and the boredom kicked in. He came into my office and slyly asked, “Why don’t we make a deal?” I raised an eyebrow and asked what he had in mind.
I have heard the avid hunter say that he or she finds God in the woods. I have heard the avid golfer say that he or she feels the peace of God on the back nine. I have heard the avid fisherman say that he or she feels divine transcendence bass fishing on the lake. In other words, who needs church when theologically speaking, God is and can be found everywhere.
On Ash Wednesday, we are all invited “…in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent (BCP 265).” To help in the observance of a holy Lent and to mark this season, there are changes in our personal lives. We give something up such as sweets, sodas, candy, or something else we enjoy. We may take on a discipline such as reading a book, exercising, or engaging in a variety of forms of prayer. All of this we offer to God and to remind ourselves that God desires to be in relationship with all of us.