Scripture: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (NRSV)
Lent is a time of reflection, devotion and sometimes struggle. The period leading up to Easter can be a long and difficult span, but a time to slow down, breathe and deepen our faith. If we pay attention, Jesus can show himself to us in marvelous ways.
In these past mere weeks, I have seen uncertainty, confusion and fear like no other. Our lives have changed very rapidly. The pillars that uphold my very structured lifestyle have come crashing down within a matter of days. Recently, I have found it hard to reflect upon and devote myself to my faith when everything around me feels like panicked chaos.
Nevertheless, I still sense God. I see God every morning in the sunrise, painted in hues of deep blue, lavender and orange. I hear God in the songs of the birds, in the absence of usual traffic from a nearby street. I feel God when I spend time with my family members, and connect with my loved ones from afar. I marvel at the ability of God to be revealed even when my life － and everything around me － is moving, changing, morphing at the speed of light.
A time such as this has stirred an awakening within me. I am reminded of the fragility of human life and humbled by everything I had taken advantage of before: a hug, a classroom full of students, the comfort of a close friend nearby. Yet, I suddenly see the world in a new way. I can experience nature more often, if I choose. I am able to connect with friends, classmates, mentors who may be thousands of miles away. I can spend more time in solitude, if I desire. I have a chance to reflect deeply on what truly lies within.
Times such as these are unsettling. The health of many people is on the line. Many face uncertainty in regards to employment and careers. Some fear being unfairly discriminated against due to an ethnicity or culture they cherish dearly. Our lives have undoubtedly been uprooted and transplanted unimaginably. Yet, I still see humanity blossoming in marvelous ways. People are connecting in ways that someone from centuries ago may have found outlandish. Many are finding creative means to serve others that may have seemed unconventional or even impossible before something like this.
Sometimes, the events in our lives may try to dictate our emotions, yet we can try to choose our response. In the time leading up to Easter this year, I am finding ways to reflect, serve, pray, learn and devote myself to my faith in ways I never would’ve imagined three weeks ago. Our lives have been changed in a lofty way. Our situations are still changing everyday. Many experience uncertainty and fear. Some experience loss and grief. In the midst of it all, we still see sunrises. We still hear the birdsongs. We still have a magnificent God who gives us blessings everyday. For that, I will give thanks.
Scripture: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (NRSV)
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!
2Let Israel say, His steadfast love endures forever.
19Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
20This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
21I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
22The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23This is the Lords doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!
26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.
28You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.
29O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.