Tuesday came and went and we did not eat pancakes, but I’m still aware that this week marked the beginning of Lent. My children are all about Valentines Day right now, but I’m feeling quieter. More reflective. So for this week, let me kick off the Pick of the Clicks with two devotional suggestions which I’ve found really rich:
Dallas Willard’s Hearing God Through the Year (a 365 walk through his book, Hearing God). These bite-sized devotions are giving me so much to think through.
I recently signed up for the daily email devotion called Today in the Word, and I am savoring them. February’s theme is Rest, and today’s email reflected on busyness as a rest wrecker:
Jesus’ reply suggests that busyness is a choice. We succumb to busyness when we willingly place ourselves under the tyranny of false necessity. Some preparation was needed in order to care for Martha’s guests, but Martha seems to have felt that more was required than was actually necessary.
We are attracted to busyness because it gives us the illusion of being indispensable. But this is often accompanied by resentment when others fail to pitch in and help. We are also attracted to busyness because we like to be in control. When we fall into the trap of busyness, we volunteer with a smile but serve with a grimace. Ministry does not give us a sense of joy. It makes us angry.
Resentment is an early warning signal that we have made the wrong choice and preferred busyness to being in Christ’s presence.
Other VERY worthwhile reads from the net this week:
If you’re wondering “Why Lent?”, read this from Katelyn Beaty, in which she likens Lent to a kind of Bootcamp, of the very best kind.
Or, read this article—Lent in the Shadow of Cancer—in which Sarah Arthur interviewed three women about cancer, their bodies, and resurrection hope. Talk about PERSPECTIVE….
One of the women interviewed in the above article, Kate James, wrote about the Face of Depression this week. Somehow, Kate manages to write about the most serious things and *still* make me laugh and think and wish we could drink tea together. If you’ve known someone struggling with depression (or are someone struggling with depression), this is a good one.
Alissa Wilkinson’s The Critic’s Job and Why It Matters is an excellent reflection on the place that criticism has in the age of Amazon and Rotten Tomatoes reviews. Fundamentally, it questions why (and how) we engage with art of all forms:
Better Living Through Criticism is not a how-to manual for aspiring critics, but something much better: an intelligent, lively defense of criticism itself and, thereby, a backdoor argument for bringing both one’s intellect and gut to bear on one’s experience of art. Which is simply to say that Scott wants us to act like humans—not merely brains on sticks, not only bundles of emotions—when we encounter the things that other people create.
I love this from Katie Emma: When things are not what they seem. If you’ve ever looked across at a friend and thought their life looked so charmed and together, and felt yours was so full-o-holes by comparison, read this.
And Tanya Marlow’s thoughts on How to Discover Your Calling are stellar here:
Perhaps this, too, is what it means to discover a vocation—it’s those things that creep into your life without you planning, because it is natural to you, instinctive. Vocation is not simply doing what you would love to do full-time, but what you would always do even if no one paid you.
And since it is Valentines Day weekend, let me close out with this GORGEOUS reflection from Carolyn Parr: Fire Tender. Gosh, I so want a love like this when I’m in my eighties.
And my two favorite memes from the internet this week: theological nerd Valentines Day cards…
On the blog:
From me, from an “Ask me anything” question on whether a reader should say something about her friend’s LGBT lifestyle choices, A handy guide to telling others off. (and speaking of which, do you have a question you want to send my way? Contact me here…)
Emily Orvik’s lovely guest post: When someone is desperate and homeless.
That’s all for this week, friends. Thanks for reading.
Image Credit: Pareé / Valentines Day (Flickr Creative Commons), edited with Canva by Bronwyn Lea.