The Wilderness and Mortality – Day 5

“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” ~Mark 1:9

After reading today’s devotional and the question at the bottom of the page that ask, “Have you ever thought you might die? What was it like to make it through that moment? Instantly I remembered a quote that I had heard, it goes like this: “Get busy living or Get busy dying.” I did not remember where I heard it so I googled it, turns out it’s a quote from the movie “Shawshank Redemption.” I found an article from the Huffington Post that summed the quote up as, “Perhaps the best way to sum up the key to life is wisdom from the movie Shawshank Redemption when Andy Dufresne said to his fellow inmate Red: “Life comes down to a simple choice: You’re either busy living or busy dying.” It isn’t just a quote from a movie, its advice for all of us.”
Every living person is both living and dying every day. Every living person can either move their life in a positive direction (“get busy living”) or not (“get busy dying”). That choice makes all the difference. Unfortunately dying is the default. Living takes effort.

When I was in my early 20’s I was involved in a car crash and although it was over in a matter of seconds my whole life up to that point flashed before me. I have absolutely no doubt that God saved me. My car was totaled beyond any repair but I only had one small scratch over my eye brow. Also during this time in my life I had contemplated causing harm to myself because life had become too difficult for me, I was young, naive, foolish and scared, I didn’t have the answers to all the questions I had about life. What I do remember is NOT wanting to die, when faced with the option. I did not recognize the significance of that moment but here I am years later and I look back and I know that God had a plan for me and my life and it did not include me dying on that day. After the accident I decided to seek professional help and began talking with a counselor. My best advice is this: life is hard, and sometimes easy both are so worth the effort to participate in the process. God did not tell us life would be painless, He promised to always be with us and to never leave us and that’s pretty AWESOME!

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” ~Hebrews 13:5-6
The text for today tells us of Jesus being baptized by John at the river Jordan. The verses following the baptism say that the Spirit sent Jesus to the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by Satan. One could say that Jesus decided to “Get busy living” and NOT “busy dying” as Jesus met each temptation from Satan with clarity, truth and obedience to God, the Father. During Lent we are encouraged and invited on a journey of dying to ourselves and rising to new life in Jesus. Typically, during Lent people decide to give something up for the forty days to honor a commitment to God and to allow the absence of whatever they give up to be filled with spending more time with God and doing God’s work.

As we close the “Wilderness and Mortality” theme, I pray for our journey of Lent and that our eyes, ears and hearts are open to where the Spirit leads us.

Breath Prayer: Resurrecting God, show me how to live anew.

~Blessings and Peace~