Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Responding to a Challenge

If you spend any time at all looking at this blog, you will see that I haven't written anything since 2009, written anything on this blog that is. But I received this email from my daughter who said that for Lent she was starting a blog and she referenced how in our family we treat these holy times of the church calendar kind of different. Let me explain . . . (If you stick around, you'll notice that I really like these 3 little dots . . .)

My wife tends to add things at Lent instead of giving things up. This year for instance, she has decided to read non-fiction books during Lent. You guessed it, she is a fiction reader. She even claims that she can read more than one non-fiction book in 40 days. (Smile) One year for Advent, I decided to give something up. You know, apply the Lent principle to Advent. So I gave up pop/soda/coke for Advent. I wanted to do something that actually made me long for the end of Advent and if you know how much I love my Diet Coke, you understand the longing.

So I got to thinking about Niki's decision to start a blog for Lent and I felt the challenge to do the same thing. Not to compete with my daughter but because I have become pretty lazy with my writing . . . OK, I've become pretty lazy. And as you are picking up, Lent can be a time when we add a discipline and that's just what I'm going to do - I'm going to be like Niki (kind of like "I'm wanna be like Mike") and write for Lent. And who knows, by taking up this challenge, I might just keep writing.

Speaking of challenges, I faced another one today. I don't like uncomfortableness in relationships and I especially don't like to deal with uncomfortableness. I can be an avoider But today was different. I don't know why. Maybe because I have been praying about this particular relationship for a few weeks. Whatever the reason, this morning I decided to quit avoiding and dive into the uncomfortable pool that was filled with misunderstandings, assumptions, and criss-crossed communication.

After several minutes of tense dialogue, I said to this person, "I don't know why we are not connecting but there seems to be this barrier between us and I don't want it to be there." We proceeded to talk for over an hour and begin in very small steps to identify our different styles of communication, our different ways of doing things and slowly I began to sense that the barrier, the wall, was coming down.

Now it would be really easy to rebuild that wall but I am choosing to face this challenge as well and continue tearing down that barrier, that dividing wall of hostility that is so easy to build. I am going to slow down, not rush to judgement, give the benefit of the doubt, be both a deliver of grace and a seeker of grace and I believe . . . develop a new and lasting friendship.

Writing. Reading non-fiction. Facing a relational challenge. What else is Lent going to hold for us this year?

2 comments:

Doug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doug said...

I look forward to more Lenten posts...

Marrying a very conservative Catholic, Kim has taught me to do more good for people than to give something up. The "pay it forward" mentality that sometimes gets lost in my day to day existence.

Doug

(if you scan through my blog for the past 4 years you'll see many "..." funny.)