“For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:4
Our dog, Fergus, is an amazing creature. He is a prime example of the beauty of genetic adaptation. Unlike our other dogs that have “normal” hair, Fergus has deep, thick, long fur perfectly suited to life as a water dog in a cold climate. It is truly a coat befitting a Newfoundland.
Fergus gets a thorough brushing about three or four times a year. Why so rarely? Well, it is an undertaking. I brush for hours and days usually over the course of about a week. That’s what it takes to get his coat completely smoothed out. But it takes time. And patience. His and mine.
Many things take time even in our instant information age. Lent is forty days. The story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness tells us he was tested for forty days. Not just an overnight endurance ordeal. Not just a transforming dream. Not a magical zap of some kind. Jesus’ time of temptation and testing which would prepare him for his ministry is presented as a long, drawn out process. Some important things simply take time.
The story of Joseph which we will think about over the course of Lent is also a long saga of a life time. God’s redeeming love appears over the course of many years in the story of Joseph. It’s not a story of immediate gratification by any means.
Lent is not a quick fix. Forty days. Time for something significant to happen if we let it. If we persevere. If we are pay attention.
We know that change comes though it may be slow. May we look, watch, notice, explore and discover these 40 days of Lent. Redeeming love is present and powerful. Amen.