Across the Pastor’s Desk: Lent calls us back to our center

Published 8:00 pm Friday, February 16, 2024

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Across the Pastor’s Desk by Joshua Enderson

For churches that follow the liturgical calendar, we have entered the season of Lent.

Josh Enderson

Lent is a time where we refocus our lives, our relationships and our faith on what truly matters.

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It is a time for us to step back and reflect on how things are going and to see where God might be calling us into a new way of life.

In his book Confessions, Saint Augustine wrote, “my soul is restless until it rests in you.”

The “you” is referring to God. We might not always think about our lives in this way, but I think we can understand exactly what Augustine is saying.

We know what it is like when we run around in circles in life, thinking that this item or that person will complete our life, only to find ourselves unfulfilled.

We might think that having a busy schedule of work tasks followed by time with friends will fill us up inside. Or maybe it’s just the opposite for you. Maybe you long for retirement and rest, thinking that a life of leisure will finally give you time for rest that will let you find yourself.

If we take a moment and think about it, we can all come up with our own version of this story. We can all come up with the thing that we think will bring us peace and rest, but often just leaves us restless and anxious. It often leaves us focused only on ourselves, unable to see anyone around us. They are simply there for our means of fulfillment.

Because we are restless until our souls rest in God, we are restless until we recognize that our souls need to be focused in the right direction.

Lent is a time that calls us back to the center of our lives. It reminds us that no person or thing can leave us fulfilled, or that no amount of work or leisure will bring us peace of mind. They must have a purpose. They must be centered on something. They must be focused on the God who calls us to rest in him.

Lent calls out the shallowness that we often live in and calls us to seek the deeper depths of life. It is in these places that we find a place for our souls to rest.

It is here that we find God, who has been present with us through it all, calling us to rest in him, and calling us to find the center and purpose in all that we go through in life.

Josh Enderson is a pastor at Hayward-Trondhjem Lutheran Churches.