The California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church

Lent 2017: Day Thirty-Five

Week Five: Larger Fears Require Bolder Actions

Reflection for the Week: How can I be a courageous partner in God’s creative goodness?

I grew up camping in the Eastern Sierras each summer. The drive up highway 395 through the Mojave Desert is barren and desolate for the most part. It is hard to believe anything lives or grows out there. With an average rainfall in the Mojave Desert of just five inches, it is no wonder.

As you begin to get to the Sierra foothills a change occurs. The mountains often have a bit of snow cap on the top, and though the Eastern side of the Sierras is still very dry, you can see long green veins of vegetation and trees coming down the mountains in stark contrast to the brown chaparral. It is no surprise that these green fingerlings of life follow the path of water runoff from the mountains. Small creeks or streams are created as a result of the high altitude snow melt. But, move off more than a few yards and it is barren again. It is absolutely clear that the trees and vegetation get what they need for life from that one source of water.

The Proverbs passage speaks the same truth for us. “In all your ways, acknowledge him,” reminds us that our lives have a single source. There isn’t any part of our lives that is apart from God. The second line, “and he will make your paths straight,” doesn’t mean everything gets smooth and flat when we put our trust in God. It does mean that our crooked way of viewing life gets straightened out. We see things straight, we see things more clearly, and we can live more fully. We who are planted along the stream of living water should be standing tall and grace filled. In this world often so barren of free flowing kindness and love, Christians should stand in stark contrast to the secular world.

Jesus spoke of himself as “living water.” May we plant our lives alongside his.

Prayer: Creating and sustaining God, May my life grow in your grace. Amen.

Rev. John Farley
Dean of Cabinet
California-Pacific Conference