Good Enough


I was chatting with a great friend recently and we discussed Lenten practices. My practice has been a more robust prayer time in the mornings. That’s something I’ve been better about in certain life stages, and worse about in others. I haven’t been perfect about it during this Lent, but it has been life giving. My friend mentioned the difficulty at first in starting her Lenten practice. She wanted to start with Ash Wednesday and make it all the way through lent, but life became busy right around that moment and she forgot to start on time. After a few days she realized she had not started and at first felt like she had failed. Maybe she could try again next year. So a few more days pass and by this time she is two weeks into Lent not having started the practice she had set out to do. She felt pretty defeated and flawed for a while, until one day she had a realization.
Just because she didn’t start on time did not mean she shouldn’t do it at all. There was no reason why she couldn’t start her Lenten practice now, even though she missed the first two weeks. If God, or even the church for that matter, expected us to be perfect wouldn’t we be practicing these things all year long and for all our life? What then is the difference between spending time with God for 40 days vs 30 days? In actuality there is no difference because all time spent with God is good time. The worse option would be to not spend any time with God at all.
In the opening chapter of Kate Bowler’s new book, Good Enough, she discusses the importance of a Regula, which means a “Rule of Life.” If I were to describe a Regula it might start to sound similar to the style of living we would see in Monastic communities. Saint Benedict tried to instill that way of living for his community. He tried to order their life in such a way so that they were filled with moments with God in all things. Spoiler alert: his community tried to poison him for being too strict. And maybe that’s what it feels like if we are too strict with ourselves in our Lenten practices. Bowler says that a “Regula does not have to be hard; it only has to be regular.” We can interpret regular in two ways. On the one hand it is something that happens with frequency. On the other it is something that is plain or common.
The point that my friend shared with me, and the point of Kate Bowler is the same. Your time spent with God should not be so regulated that it is easy to fail. As leaders of our own lives we must aim to set our selves up for success. So start a Lenten practice now, even if there’s only a few weeks left in Lent. And choose something that is regular for you. In these simple things you are practicing something profound. You are practicing grace. You know that big church we use but maybe don’t know what it fully means? Grace. This is an opportunity to give yourself grace, and thus feel a small piece of the great grace God is constantly pouring out to you.
Grace be with you, 
Pastor Stephan


Last Published: March 30, 2022 11:38 AM
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