Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace
“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35
Today is the beginning of Lent, a solemn religious observance starting with today, Ash Wednesday and going 40 week days to Easter. Today we begin this season by getting ashes in the shape of a cross placed on our forehead as a symbol that we are all in some way needing to repent and refocus on our faith. Many take this time to think of the great sacrifice of Jesus, and therefore, many Christians give up something for the next 40 days as a way of honoring that sacrifice in some small way, and preparing our hearts and minds for Holy Week and of course Easter where we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What I would like to suggest here is instead of doing without chocolate or sweets or wine we take up a practice that might impact our world, our neighbors, or our families. I have to believe that He is just as pleased, maybe more, when we do our best to make our lives and the lives around us better.
My goal this year is to focus on having a servant’s heart. What I mean by that is, live out the meme, we have all seen, where we say we give the janitor the same respect and honor as the CEO of our companies. I think it’s way too easy to say this, or post this, than live this out in every aspect of our lives. To truly have the heart of a servant, to not in any way feel “better than” your fellow man/woman.
I want to strive to think of myself last, a foreign concept to what we are bombarded with in the media and our world. Waking up thinking how can I serve my children best today? Does that mean being more patient as they tell me a story that takes twice as long as I would like? Holding my temper…taking time to pray with them,worship with them, have devotions with them, or just take time to play with them? How can I serve my partner? Can I let them chose the movie the dinner etc…can I go do something they love, not because it makes me happy, but because it pleases them to have me share in their love of fishing, or bowling, or action movies? How can I serve those I work with? Can I put aside the “it’s not my job” attitude and help out? Maybe that means burying the hatchet with the woman you fought with, or helping someone new to the office?
So how can you go about fostering a servant’s heart? For me these next forty days will begin with meditation – a meditation where I will focus on putting aside things of the world and focus on higher more important aspects of spirituality and servitude. For you it might be writing a gratitude journal, that reminds you of what’s really important in this life. It may mean writing down the old grudges or heartaches you have been hanging on too and then placing them in a fire…metaphorically ridding your life of those negative aspects. Reading the stories or parables of the New Testament – over and over the bible leads us to serve those around us. Most of all focus on LOVE – Loving yourself, your family and your neighbors always brings joy, and peace into you life and that my friend is what it’s all about.
I love you,