Grace and Peace to you
A few weeks ago I was attending a conference. After a long day’s session of sitting I had decided that it would be good to go for a run before dinner. Wearily walking back to my room it felt that a snooze would be more appropriate. Anyway, just before I got to my room I overheard a fellow participant ask another if he was going running. After answering that he was going for a run he proceeded to invite me to join him. It was all that I needed to be motivated: An invitation to do what I knew would be good for me and that which I really wanted to do.
So I went running and skipped the snooze.
I ended up running faster and further than I would have had I gone on my own (which was still not very far or fast). We decided to run together every day for the duration of the conference. Each time forgoing the tempting snooze before dinner. Each time running faster and further than I would have on my own.
In this small way I was reminded again how we are made to be in community with others. We will do life more faithfully if we deliberately do it in the company of others who “watch over us in love”.
Remember the African proverb: “If you want to go fast … go alone. If you want to go far … go together.” There is no meaningful spirituality that is “fast”, so there is no meaningful spirituality that is done alone. It’s a contradiction in terms.
When Jesus walked he walked with others — slow, steady, far and faithful. In two weeks’ time we begin the season on Lent — the painfully long journey to the cross. A journey we will not complete unless we link hearts and hands especially in prayer.
Some of us fasted for Ramadan last year — I hope we will be deliberate about fasting and praying together during Lent. Find someone to watch over in love. Ask someone to watch over you with love.
“I shall look at the world through tears.
Perhaps I shall see things that dry-eyed I could not see.
The tears streamed down, and I let them flow as freely as they would,
making of them a pillow for my heart. On them it rested.”
– St Augustine