The challenge of patience

386718_10151176596392623_1993935500_nAs we prepare for Ash Wednesday and our Lenten disciplines this week, I would like to request a moment of personal privilege in the blogosphere.

Thank you for indulging me.

Quick catch-up for those of you who are not aware: I separated the AC joint in my right shoulder on December 30 when I took a little spill (ummm – shoulder-plant) while skiing with my sons and goddaughter during the holidays. This led to surgery to repair the joint on January 23 triggering a two week medical leave from work. Today I am back in the saddle, with restrictions. I am not very good at restrictions.

Fortunately, I have many helpers.

On the mission and  ministry front I need to specifically thank Valerie Harris, Associate for our Formation and Vocation Ministries Team, who has been coordinating the roll-out on the EYE 2014 Mission Planning Team application process with the able assistance of members of the Council for Youth Ministry, especially Shannon Kelly, Earl Gibson, and Cookie Cantwell. And our Media Consultant, Wendy Johnson, has been doing a fantastic job of keeping social media up to date in my absence.

WE STILL NEED YOUTH APPLICANTS FOR EYE 2014 MISSION PLANNING TEAM, especially from the European, Midwestern, Southwestern, Northwestern, Pacific Coast, Caribbean and South American regions!

The application deadline for the EYE 2014 Mission Planning Team is the end of this week!!!

But I digress.

On the post-surgery home front, I am blessed with good health insurance, excellent surgeons and medical staff treating me, a compassionate and indulgent circle of family and friends helping me, an understanding workplace with incredible staff backing me up, and a cloud of faithful witnesses praying me back to health and wholeness. I enter this Lenten season very much aware of the abundance with which I am blessed, and determined to learn to be a better patient and to simply be patient.

I will be engaging three specific disciplines this Lenten season; daily physical therapy, daily scripture reading, and slowing down. That last is the most difficult for me. I am good at balance in terms of work vs. play, but I am pretty much all go when I am awake and there are things to do. I’ve never been much of a couch potato.

Yet  my shoulder needs time and rest to grow new ligament attachments. There’s no hurrying this process into a faster recovery. To avoid complications and in the hopes of full recovery, I must be disciplined in following the doctor’s orders.

My prayer for you is that you might also be able to reflect upon the abundance in your life and determine a place where you need to be more disciplined. I pray that you can embrace your new discipline with determination, faith, and a measure of joy in the trying. Below I have offered two links in case you need a nudge or some humor during this Lent.

I will be reading the relatively new Common English Bible that was approved for official use at General Convention. In one of the bound versions there are tables in the back for strategic scripture reading. Having already tackled and accomplished the “One Month Sweep Bible Reading Plan” over Advent, I am taking up the “New Testament in 90 Days Reading Plan.” That should be sufficient for the 40 days of Lent and the 50 days of Easter.

I love the language of this version of the Bible. It isn’t too different from the NRSV, but it’s much easier for reading aloud, and to understand the grammar of Paul’s letters.

And for comic relief while learning, I look forward to a full season of Lent Madness. It will be two brackets of saints and martyrs competing for the Golden Halo. The blogs are always informative and the votes are interesting. Tune in on “Ash Thursday” so you don’t miss the early bracket voting!

May your Lent be Holy as we journey together to the cross to meet Jesus.

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