LENT? Huh! What Is It Good For?

Sr. Pat Thomas, OP
Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP

I hate driving behind someone who is lost. You know the one: the driver that goes so slowly you don’t know if you can pass or not; the driver that swerves into your lane so suddenly you almost don’t hit the brake and then they slow down to look at the street names; the driver that doesn’t use the turn signal but turns anyway because the street they are looking for (you have no  idea which one) suddenly looms on the left or the right but not from the lane they are in at the moment.

You probably have other descriptions of their actions, but you get the picture, clearly the driver is lost.

What do we do—HONK,of course, ‘cause that always works, right? Makes us feel better. Or we yell at them, from the safety of our own car. Or we pray that this won’t become a road rage situation; oh not through you but through those other drivers also being inconvenienced by this lost traveler. It sort of seems like a no win situation for anyone until that driver finds what they are looking for on the same road you are traveling.

There are lots of ways of feel lost. Today, people are lost because their routines have been turned upside down. People seem lost because their friends are dying or are sick, and they can’t help them. They are lost because the places that usually held answers for them seem just as confused as they are.

When we are with people who say they are lost what happens? Do we “honk” at them, say we know how they feel, give them a hug and say it will get better? Do we ask if they want to pray or if you can pray for them? Do we just sit and listen, because we are just as lost as they are.

The only guide we have to help us try to stay in the best direction is something called faith. Most of us have faith in God; some call it a higher power; some call it the universe. Whatever it might be, it is something that takes us out of ourselves and shows us possibilities we might never have considered.

Why do we need Lent? What is it good for? We are all lost in some ways. Lent is a time to look at the roads we travel and ask how ready we are to change course if necessary. Are we just going to swerve and inconvenience others, or will we be able to find the guides we need to make hope filled decisions? That’s why we need Lent.

Posted in Weekly Word

6 responses to “LENT? Huh! What Is It Good For?

  1. Thanks Pat! What comes to mind is what I OFTEN encountered on Louisiana Ave. in NO — drivers would stop and have a conversation with another driver or someone walking!! Horn blowing would have been dangerous! Patience dictated waiting — thanks for a great reflection.

  2. I need Lent to help me SLOW down so I can be the ‘right’ lane when I want to ‘turn.’
    Thank you! Great reflection on ‘why Lent?!’

  3. Dear Sr. Pat,
    Thank you for reminding us that we are all lost and hopefully we will have compassion and forgiveness towards ourselves and others. We will if we ask for help find the guides we need when we can’t find the way.
    So grateful for this lived experience you mentioned and when I am lost to remember to pull over and get some help. God bless you, Pat, for your wisdom, Sr. Brigid

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