LENT: God of Tenacity

Standard

Luke 4:1-13

God of Tenacity,

When you lived this human existence, even you did not turn down your own time in the wilderness – the place where one’s character is shaped through exposure to the elements without the aid of one’s usual protective elements (escaping in daily tasks, accumulating “enough” resources, receiving encouragement from the community).

It is when we all stand vulnerable to life’s dangers that our instincts prove their power.

Food. Shelter. Clothing.
Survival. Rescue. Meaning.

Our eyes are trained to spot each possibility and our feet are trained to propel us forward towards its possession.

And yet, when you had your own pair of feet, of hands, of eyes, you did not do as we would have done.  Danger (or threat of it) did not dominate and disable your instincts.  You were famished, gut gurgling, and crying out for sustenance.  Your physical body was sending cue after cue that it needed something.

I confess that when I stand vulnerable to life’s dangers, something seems better than (what is perceived at the time to be) nothing.  Turning stone to bread may have gotten me disqualified in round one.

Satisfying hunger, increasing authority, and proving power are intoxicating endeavors.  We are trained to assume these are life’s goals.  They are the standards by which we measure one another’s success.  But your response in the wilderness highlights what we cannot see when we are famished.  Indulgence in each brings their own strings attached – ones we don’t often know until we are far down the rabbit hole.

God of a Tenacity beyond our own, disempower our instincts and grant us pause when we are famished to discern what is real – survival, rescue, and meaning that comes from you and you alone.

Amen

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