But can anyone know what they’ve accidentally done wrong? Clear me of any unknown sin and save your servant from willful sins. Don’t let them rule me. – Psalm 19:12-13 (CEB)
This psalm snippet is a wonderful catch-all for the things I’m sure I’m doing wrong that I’m not consciously aware I’m doing. It also has space to release my mind from fretting over trying to determine what those things may or may not be. Those of us who are professional overthinkers can appreciate that. While there’s much comfort in the freedom embedded in these verses, they can also be extremely dangerous.
In a Post-Information Age where vast amounts of knowledge can be uncovered within seconds, ignorance is only blissful for those who are privileged enough to enjoy it. Everyone else ends up having to pay the immense cost of that benefit, often in dehumanizing and deadly ways. One could argue that it’s willful to not notice how our own seemingly small decisions can literally strip someone else of theirs.
Instead of telling anyone who they are or where they need to be, I invite you to choose your own Lenten adventure in this time of introspection and of preparation for what is yet ahead in this season. If you find yourself afflicted or anxious, let this psalmist’s words be your prayer—and don’t let any of it rule you.
However, if you relate to the blissful ignorance of your relative privileges, may these words wrest your spirit and purposefully guide you away from your comfortable coves and into the places where God’s collaborators are most needed.
If we do this adventure thoroughly, it’s likely we’ll find we’re a bit of both.
Disrupt our comfort and eliminate the weighty burdens that aren’t ours to carry, so we can freely bask in your blessings. Amen.
The Rev. Phiwa Langeni is the Ambassador for Innovation & Engagement of the United Church of Christ. They are also the Founder of Salus Center, the only LGBTQ resource and community center in Lansing, MI.