I offer my life to you, Lord.
My God, I trust you.
Please don’t let me be put to shame!
Don’t let my enemies rejoice over me!
For that matter,
don’t let anyone who hopes in you
be put to shame;
instead, let those who are treacherous without excuse be put to shame.
Make your ways known to me, Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth—teach it to me—
because you are the God who saves me.
I put my hope in you all day long.
Lord, remember your compassion and faithful love—
they are forever!
But don’t remember the sins of my youth or my wrongdoing.
Remember me only according to your faithful love
for the sake of your goodness, Lord.
The Lord is good and does the right thing;
he teaches sinners which way they should go.
God guides the weak to justice,
teaching them his way.
All the Lord’s paths are loving and faithful
for those who keep his covenant and laws.
Psalms 25:1-10 (CEB)
Here we are again, the season of Lent has kicked off and we begin our (hopefully) introspective and reflective journey towards Holy Week and Easter. Some of you were marked by ash crosses on Wednesday and many of you have decided to fast from something during the 40 days of Lent. Some may not give up anything and there are some who have given up everything. Those who do fast may give up some kind of food, some may fast from a technology, some may fast from being selfish and some may fast from simply saying “Yes” to everything.
We will all be walking very different journeys and very different paths during Lent.
In verse four of this week’s Psalm the psalmist writes, “Make your ways known to me, Lord; teach me your paths.”
Lent is a time for us to look at the path we’ve walked and reevaluate if it’s the path God wants us on. It’s a time to ask potentially hard questions. What has hindered us? Are we on the right path? Do we need to change course? What might be in our lives that is misleading and misdirecting? Where can we open up to bring more light and perspective on our path? Who might we need to invite on our journey or who might we need to part ways with?
Sometimes we give something up. Sometimes we try something new.
What’s important is that we look at our lives.
Not our neighbors.
This section of the Psalm ends with, “All the Lord’s paths are loving and faithful for those who keep his covenant and laws.”
Sometimes we are walking closely with someone but most of the time we are all on very different paths. Lent is also the time to acknowledge that my path is not your path. As long as we are both on a journey that honestly desires to find God’s path and direction, then we’re doing this Lent thing right. If we spend most of our time expecting others paths to look like ours or having a laundry list of expectations, then we are doing Lent gravely wrong.
Lent is a 40 day journey through the wilderness towards the cross.
And, as the ancient Israelites learned, there are many ways through the wilderness.
“All the Lord’s paths are loving and faithful” for those who earnestly seek God to, “teach me your paths.”
May we seek to walk and learn God’s path for our life and may we honor the journey of our neighbors.