Lent is a season of discovery, contemplation, discernment, and introspection. It is a time when we take a good look at our spiritual lives and determine how clear our connection is to God. From our prayer lives to our spiritual practices, sometimes these practices become items that need to be checked off our “to-do” lists. When the wonder and joy of our relationship with God become routine, that is when change is needed.
In Deuteronomy 2, Moses is leading the Israelites through the wilderness to the Promised Land. God speaks to Moses throughout his journey and tells Moses, “You have circled this mountain long enough. Turn north” (Deut. 2:3). A clear voice came to Moses and without hesitation, he began to head north. God came in with a clear, distinct message and made a change in the travel plan. Fortunately, Moses listened. But how long would Moses and the Israelites have circled that mountain if God had not told him to go north?
The Israelites were having a difficult time. They did not have a place to call home and were wandering constantly, and never able to make plans to stay and build a home. The desperation, depression, anxiety, confusion, and sadness must have been overwhelming as they constantly wondered when they would arrive in the Promised Land. It is no wonder they circled the mountain for such a long time. It may have been all they could do to simply pack and travel and keep their families alive. It took a word from the Divine to turn them in the right direction and wake them up.
Are you like the Israelites, doing the same thing, day after day, traveling in the same direction? A cycle of routineness becomes the norm and the depth of your spiritual life no longer exists. Go back to a time that brought great happiness. Consider what parts of your life at that time are missing. Take some time to examine the elements of your spiritual life from how you pray (and how often) to attending weekly worship. Making a change in order to deepen your relationship with God takes serious thought. Perhaps it is time to “Turn north,” and make a change. The smallest Being still to listen to the voice of God takes practice.
Grace and peace,