Friday, March 2, 2012

Lent and lobsters

Did you know that when a lobster feels its shell to be getting tight and restrictive, it finds a crevice in one of the underwater rock formations, sheds its shell and grows a new one. When it outgrows this shell, it repeats the process and continues doing so until it reaches its adult size. 

Without its shell, the lobster is in great danger. A predatory fish may eat it, or a strong current may dash it against a rock. But in order to grow, the lobster must risk its very life. 

That lobster is like us. In every area of life it is impossible to achieve success without some risk of failure. Because life is all about growth, each of us must learn to live with risk and change. Sometimes we are so afraid of failure - in our jobs, in our relationships with others, and even in our relationship with God - that we don't try anything new and so we don't grow. We haven't realised that the greatest failure of all is the failure to grow. We haven't paused to consider the possibilities of change and conversion, of reaching our real potential, because in a bizarre kind of way we feel secure and in control as we are, trudging along in our own strength. 

This Lent, let's listen for God to speak to us through the Scripture readings and when we pray. Let's move from our measured, transactional (and even stale) relationship with him to a fresh abandonment to his love. And during this process, as we feel spiritually stripped bare, exposed and vulnerable to attack (like that lobster!), let's remember just how much God loves us, and how much he wants wants us to trust him completely in every circumstance and with every detail of our lives, allowing him to draw us to himself, even as we touch others with his love.


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