A gracious, wide crape myrtle stands in our yard near the street.
During certain times of the year, leaves and seed pods from that lovely tree fall in just such a pattern as to block a few critical inches of our driveway. The drainage path to the curb gets clogged up.
And then I find myself pulling up during a rainstorm to step out of the car into ankle-deep water. I slosh across the driveway to that one corner and, in my already sodden shoes, kick the minuscule, problematic bundle of leaves, seed pods, and twigs out into the water flowing along the gutter.
As I make my way inside to shuck my wet shoes, the driveway begins to drain.
We could pull all sorts of lessons out this story, but there’s one that really interests me during Lent.
Every one of us gets stuck sometimes. Sometimes it’s a huge thing and we have to figure out an appropriate way to address that. At others, however, it’s something small.
Sometimes we get stuck on the small things.
They might mess with our capacity to show compassion and kindness in the world. They might keep us from seeing the pain of a neighbor. They might cause us to get mired in a muddle of self-condemnation. Or we might just feel stuck and not even know why.
This time in the Christian year allows us the opportunity to slow down and pay attention. Somewhere in that process of prayer and practice, we might notice what’s got us stuck.
Lent invites us to consider the small things that could make a big difference. Sometimes it’s exactly those small things in our lives that block us in our quest to follow Jesus.
The heavens herald your glory, O God,
and the skies display your handiwork
Day after day they tell their story,
and night after night they reveal
the depth of their understanding.