I’ve got a new role model, the witch at the end of ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Her final words are “I’m shrinking! I’m shrinking!” I hope that these will be my last words, as well as my life theme between now and then. For many (a growing number) this is the season of Lent. During this Lent I am meditating on the quote from John the Baptist speaking of Jesus, “He must increase and I must decrease.” Lots of folks give up chocolate or the internet but as for me I feel called to shrink and in fact take on shrinking as a life choice.
When I was a boy I was captivated by the story of Alexander the Great. I read an account of his life in a 1950’s encyclopedia. I was entranced by this young man who conquered the whole known world. There were several columns dedicated to his feats in that old book. In a newer encyclopedia he receives much briefer treatment. The editors condensed his legacy to make room for all the advancements (?) which have occurred since Leave it to Beaver was first broadcast. The lesson which I take from the ever shrinking legacy of Alexander the Great, who arguably sports the most impressive resume` this world has, is that fame in this world is fleeting. I could never expect to accomplish anything on the scale of Alexander; it would be an impressive life to be given even a line in the encyclopedia. This world is not worth living for! There must be a better means of discovering our significance.
I believe the better means is to discover our significance in our relationship with the Creator who so highly values me! I must decrease and He must increase!
Some unlikely people at our Chapel are making moves toward faith. L. who has a notorious reputation has begun to come to Up Town and interacts so gently with others of our fragile community. He and his wife A. are making great progress toward Jesus.
G. used to make his living collecting debts for drug dealers. This giant of a guy found himself at church and enlisted in a Sunday School play as Goliath. He had so much fun with the kids. He has begun to ask serious questions about faith and we have had some good talks about Restorative Justice.
Have a great… no make that a small Lent.
Blessings. <>< Reed