A Note from our Conference Minister
Last week when I wrote about Generosity, I got great feedback and as I am preparing for Lent it feels important to maintain my focus on this spiritual gift. There are many days when I feel less than generous, less than positive, less than loving. I bet you have those same feelings sometimes as well.
For me the movement toward a spirit of generosity is not so much about getting to a destination as it is about the journey or recognizing where and when it is a challenge for me to be generous. I find that one of the tasks involved in the journey is to be generous with myself. These days of the pandemic and the stress of our civil unrest, political and theological divides, the ongoing issues of racist, homophobic, and sexist attitudes and behaviors, all these and more add to the burdens we carry, the tendencies to be less generous with each other and with ourselves.
I find my patience waning and my energy flagging – new feelings for me. I generally have more energy than I know what to do with, but I am tired – emotionally and spiritually tired. That exhaustion makes it harder for me to be generous. Those around me know I have less patience and I don’t like that I am venting all the time – to those closest to me. They are tired as well and don’t need the added stress of my exhausted impatience.
So I continue to focus on shifting from negativity to positivity, from impatience to offering generosity to those I encounter and to myself. Sometimes we forget that to be generous is not all about money. Generosity is a gift of the spirit and therefore encompasses time, talent, focus, attitude, as well as treasure. Generosity is about being grateful for the blessings, grace, love and joy we have been offered and knowing we have a responsibility to offer those same blessings, grace, love, and joy to others.
So as Ash Wednesday arrives next week, and the Lenten season actually begins, I pledge to do two things: 1) begin and end each day with a prayer of gratitude and 2) shift my focus to gratitude so I can share with generosity the gifts I have been given.
I don’t know about your plans for Lent, about your hopes or dreams for the journey to Easter, but I hope you will feel the generous spirit of God pouring blessings, grace, love and joy into your life.