A PAIR OF JEANS & LENT
"LUCKILY, I KNEW THE TRICK WITH THE JEANS. WITHOUT THE JEANS I WOULDN'T BE HERE TODAY, THEY WERE REALLY THE THING THAT SAVED ME."
On March 6 of this year, as brothers Arne and Helge Murke were sailing from Tolaga Bay in New Zealand, when conditions deteriorated unexpectedly, Arne was thrown off their boat. He went so far away from the boat that his brother could not reach him with a life jacket and a rope. So, using a trick he had seen long ago, he took his jeans and make a life jacket by tying the legs closed and inflating the jeans by pulling them over the water and pushing them through to trap the air.
Looking through the lens of the Lenten season, something else Mr. Murke said looking back should resonate with us all - "...I really thought I might die, if I don't give all my energy."
I seriously doubt there is a one of us who hasn't, from time to time, given less than all of our energy to being a faithful and devoted follower of Christ. How often do we take the time to really process the reality that giving less than 100% of our energy to being a follower of Christ and living out our faith in thought, word, and deed, leads to our spiritual death and an emptiness within us that we WILL fill with something?
Mr. Murke also observed, "I saw it many years ago and I always thought if I ever go overboard without a life jacket I'm going to do that."
Lent is a season given to us by the church eternal and universal as a season to focus on our faith, a chance to reconnect with lessons we may have learned long ago but have not put into practice. These lessons of confession, introspection, honesty, sacrifice, penitence, prayer, and devotion are ones that breathe into us life eternal - life given by God, saved by Christ, and sustained by the Holy Spirit.
Whether for the first time or for the 80th time, our Lenten journey involves us finding God in the ordinary of life, discovering or rediscovering the life-giving and life-saving grace of God. May we, too, draw on lessons given by others to be saved in the midst of the storms of life that are raging, for the Lord is standing by us.
After all, would Mr. Murke be with us today if not having within him the knowledge that wound up saving him from certain death?
Grace and Peace, Lamar
H/T: New Zealand Herald