Get a Move On
But you, Daniel, go your way; you shall rest; and arise to your destiny at the end of the days. – Daniel 12:13
In case you hadn’t noticed, we are smack dab in the middle of Lent. Twenty-three days since Ash Wednesday. Twenty-three more to Easter.
By now, our initial enthusiasm for Lent’s journey may have worn off. Six weeks with no chocolate, meat, or whatever else we may have given up is simply no fun. Neither is trying to fit in time for new disciplines of study or prayer.
We’re busy. We have lives. We don’t have time for Lent.
Besides, what difference does it make? So what if we make it through the next 23 days? The world will still be with us. The rich will get richer, and nice guys (like Jesus) will still finish last. Why bother with Lent’s discipline and self-denial? Life’s short. Let’s party. Pass the candy and forget the prayer.
Daniel faced a similar challenge. He had to help his exiled people keep the faith in a world of foreign kings and multiple gods. It was a time when the wicked continue to act wickedly. But in a vision, Daniel was told: “Go your way. Keep on the path, and your reward will come.”
Good advice for this midpoint of Lent. The journey is hard, but keep going. Don’t get distracted and don’t get discouraged. As Frederick Buechner writes, “If sackcloth and ashes are at the start of (Lent), something like Easter may be at the end.”
You can do it. Go your way. Something like Easter is waiting.
Thank you, God, for this journey and the strength to finish it.
Talitha Arnold is Senior Minister of the United Church of Santa Fe (UCC), Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is the author of Mark Part 1 and Mark Part 2 of the Listen Up! Bible Study series and Worship for Vital Congregations.