Lent

I have a lovely older coworker who is my “adopted grandmother” here. She and her husband have been very good to me, making sure I felt that I have family in the area. The other day she mentioned that she was going to give up chocolate for lent. Now, last year, I cannot remember where (though I have my suspicions) I heard the argument that it might be more logical to have someone besides yourself pick something to give up for lent. I do not come from a denomination that practices lent, so the concept is slightly foreign to me but I thought that was a neat idea. This year, when my coworker talked about giving up chocolate, I remembered this and stated that I should perhaps get to pick what she is giving up and it certainly wouldn’t be chocolate. I argued that coffee might be a much better option. I said so flippantly. I was practically joking. I just was expressing what I thought was an interesting concept. Well she went right home and told her husband and told her church group and I found out today that she is indeed giving up coffee for lent. She thought that it might just be a great idea for lent and that if she could do it for lent perhaps it would “stick” making her healthier all around. She said it never occurred to her to give up something which was so much part of her routine and her life. It never occurred to her that coffee was an option. She was grateful that someone would point that out to her. (Seriously, she drinks pots of the stuff all day long!) So this morning is her first coffee less day, though I noticed she was trying out tea yesterday as well. She enjoyed a chocolate frosted donut in the meantime and I mentioned to her that she wouldn’t have been able to enjoy that little treat had she gone on her first instinct.

I have learned something from this too….You just do not know how your words affect those around you. This is a lesson best learned quickly and remembered. I said something flippantly and it “took”. What seeds do we plant daily in the minds of others that we would rather not plant? What seeds do we plant daily that would be helpful and beneficial to another person? What do we say to our friends, family, coworkers, children? Is it uplifting? Are we making statements we want to be remembered by? What seeds do we plant daily in our own minds that are not the least bit beneficial or uplifting? Can we plant good seeds in others minds when we can’t do so with ourselves?

A very special thank you to Cherie, my “sister of the fingers” (and sister of my heart) for your help in putting this post together, meanwhile being reminded and learning and “walking” along side me.

James 3 (Contemporary English Version)
The Tongue
1My friends, we should not all try to become teachers. In fact, teachers will be judged more strictly than others. 2All of us do many wrong things. But if you can control your tongue, you are mature and able to control your whole body.
3By putting a bit into the mouth of a horse, we can turn the horse in different directions. 4It takes strong winds to move a large sailing ship, but the captain uses only a small rudder to make it go in any direction. 5Our tongues are small too, and yet they brag about big things.
It takes only a spark to start a forest fire! 6The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person’s entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures can be tamed and have been tamed. 8But our tongues get out of control. They are restless and evil, and always spreading deadly poison.
9-10My dear friends, with our tongues we speak both praises and curses. We praise our Lord and Father, and we curse people who were created to be like God, and this isn’t right. 11Can clean water and dirty water both flow from the same spring? 12Can a fig tree produce olives or a grapevine produce figs? Does fresh water come from a well full of salt water?

Wisdom from Above
13Are any of you wise or sensible? Then show it by living right and by being humble and wise in everything you do. 14But if your heart is full of bitter jealousy and selfishness, don’t brag or lie to cover up the truth. 15That kind of wisdom doesn’t come from above. It is earthly and selfish and comes from the devil himself. 16Whenever people are jealous or selfish, they cause trouble and do all sorts of cruel things. 17But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere. 18When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice.