THE ‘LET’ OF LENT – Monday, March 1st
Read Galatians 5:22-26.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25 (NRSV)
Last summer I wrote a blog series about cairns, the stacks of rocks we often find creatively assembled along hiking paths.* The cairns are so simply beautiful, and they often serve as guideposts for our way. Today our spiritual invitation is to “let ourselves be guided by the Spirit.” Certainly the Spirit can guide us far better than any cairn could!
But how DO we know that we are on the right path, that we have truly let the Spirit guide us? As we see in this passage from Galatians, the right path is less about our location or direction, and more about the spiritual fruits we bear while we journey onward. If we are following a path that leads to greater love, joy, or peace, we are being led by the Spirit. If we pause along the way to share patience, kindness or generosity with someone, we are being led by the Spirit. If we choose to leave a path that has diminished our faithfulness, generosity, or self-control, we are being led by the Spirit.
The right path is any journey that helps us to bear and share the good fruits of God. An unexpected turn can become a peaceful scenic view. A few minutes lost in the woods can become a time of quiet sanctuary and trust. A well-worn path can become a place to encounter a new friend. Even a trial or two, a stumble or a storm, can become fertile soil for new seeds to become future fruits.
Perhaps you are fortunate to be receiving and offering good fruits of the Spirit on your journey today. If not, is it because you need to find a new direction – or have you simply stopped noticing or nurturing these fruits? Is a weariness suggesting that it is time to leave this path, or to pause and replenish on it? Do you feel stagnant because spiritual fruits are not welling up in your soul, or from neglecting to let them flow out for others? Do you remain on your current path because it is the right one, or because you lack courage to change direction? How might both the blessings and burdens along your path nurture new growth within you?
Today is a good day to pause and reflect on our journeys and the ways we can foster spiritual fruits in abundance. With the Spirit guiding us each step of the way, we can sow plentiful seeds, nurture tender saplings, harvest a rich abundance, and produce fruits that are both greatly savored and generously shared.
May we let the Spirit guide us so that with every step we are planting, nurturing, or bearing the precious spiritual fruits of God.
The Bible readings for tomorrow are Isaiah 2:5, Psalm 4:6 and 31:16, and Matthew 5:16.
*If you would like to read the Cairn series, the first post is here: Cairns for Our Journey (Introduction)
Bible verses found at BibleGateway.com