Lent is a good time to take inventory of our lives and ponder how we stand before God.
We often dwell on our hurts and disappointments, nursing old wounds and grudges. And often such pain is very much rooted in the realities of our lives. But sometimes that very pain keeps us from recognizing, seeing, finding and enjoying the blessings and graces that are ours, too.
Kay Ryan's short poem captures this well:
TicketTaking some time to reflect on Ryan's short verse...
This is the ticket
I failed to spend.
It is still in my pocket
at the fair's end.
It is not only
suffering or grief
or even boredom
of which we are
offered more than
Do I thumb the the torn stubs collected from my suffering and grief
while unused tickets of peace and grace languish in my pocket?
Some of my tickets might still be good...
Some may have expired...
And more will come my way...
When they do, will I spend them as they come
or leave them in my pocket 'til day's end,
tossing them with loose change in a jar upon my bureau?
These are not easy questions to ponder but matters like these are often very much in our prayers - or sometimes such concerns keep us from prayer.
When opportunities for peace and healing have come my way from God (and through others), have I accepted the grace and blessings I've been offered? Or have I sometimes turned away from them?
Are there such gifts even now in my pocket, "tickets" I've yet to spend? Might I ask God to help me accept the gifts they are? To ope and enjoy them?
If some of my "tickets" have expired, might I take a moment to thank God even for gifts I didn't open?
Will I pray, today, for God's Spirit to open my mind and heart to new gifts as I receive them, and for the will and strength I need to do that?
Each of us has our own share of "suffering or grief or even boredom" -- but that's not all we're given. In prayer today, let's empty our pockets and count the tickets and the blessings we find there.
Let's thank God for gifts we've received -- even, and perhaps especially, for the ones we haven't opened. And let's pray we'll recognize and welcome those gifts when next we find them coming our way and landing in our hearts or, like tickets, in our pockets...
In our praying for 10 minutes today, let's bring what we've found here to the Lord...
Are you new to "Praying 10 Minutes a Day in Lent" - or are you having trouble getting started? The first installment offers some thoughts on getting started, as do the subsequent posts in the series. So take a look and join us!
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