Reflection for Ash Wednesday, February 26th, 2020
Living Like God by Leah Wakefield
February 26, 2020
What does it mean to be slow in anger?
I’m already hearing talk on campus of what people are “giving up” for Lent: chocolate, Netflix, social media, etc. I hear what people will be adding to improve their lives: more prayer, exercising regularly, or going to bed earlier. All these subtractions and additions to our lives can help us grow in our relationship with God by refocusing our attention on loving God and others without some worldly distractions.
But how would our Lenten experience be transformed if we tried to love more like God? If we loved with our whole heart, “were slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment,” (JL 2:13) could we expand our capacity to love our neighbor? We could try to be slower in anger by extending more patience towards the coworker who talks too much. Perhaps we can relent in punishment by refraining from judging our sibling. We can exercise kindness by listening with the ear of our heart (RB Prologue). Loving like God seems like a tall order, but it is how we are called – or rather, commissioned – to love.
Perhaps giving up chocolate and staying up late on social media will help us love God more, but does this help us love like God? Instead of giving up chocolate, could we give up gossiping; instead of Netflix, could we give up sarcasm; instead of social media, could we act with more patience.
If we love more like God, not only will we better love God but we will also better love our neighbors, and this Lenten season is an opportunity to practice loving like God.
M.Div Lay Ministry with hopes of continuing on to a PhD program to eventually teach at the college level
Anticipated graduation: Spring 2022