So here we are, half-way through Lent. How are those resolutions holding up? Yeah, I have failed too. Often and early. We are human.
When we have trouble, it might help to contemplate the following: In the 1800s, American pioneers, trekking west, were glad to reach Nebraska’s Platte River. It was reputed to be “a mile wide and an inch deep.” It was welcomed as a way to keep moving toward the ultimate goal, a green life in the western Promised Land.
Laura Swan writes about the spiritual effort required of those who seek God, which is what Lent is really all about. It requires attention and effort and never quitting before we reach our goal. It is difficult. She writes that “the desert journey is one inch long and many miles deep. Inward is the only direction of travel.” The destination is more amazing than any green valley our ancestors ever found.
Many people, in history and in the present, have gambled all they had for a chance at a better life. They deserve our admiration and our help. In turn, we receive so much, even a chance to see the face of Christ. Reaching outwards is one side of the coin of spiritual travel.
The other side is more interior, but equally demanding. Our effort to pray directly to God, who is already within us, requires no less effort. It is a journey best undertaken with companions. In turn, we receive the gift of being able to continue.
God, help us be open both to fellow travelers and, especially, to those who have lost their way. Help us to persevere, as we travel together on to your Promised Land.