Braking Points

Exploring the Adventure of Aging



Letting Go, Loving More, Living Full

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭14:26-27‬ ‭NIV‬‬

To say I have struggled with this passage from the Gospel of Luke would be an understatement.  Perhaps it is the word ‘hate’.  Perhaps it is the completely wrong idea it plants–scripture is not always easy to understand.  If it were we could have avoided many millennium of division, wars, arguments or maybe not since we are who we are–human. Whatever the cause, I have struggled.

Then this morning as I read the 14th chapter of Luke, I realized that God was not asking me to reject or abandon the ones I love.  Nor was He asking me to act as if my life has no value.  He asks me to embrace the Life He has for me, to trust Him with the lives of those I love, to stop grappling with him for control, to follow Him.

When I follow, God’s love begins to flow through me allowing me to love others and even myself with greater goodwill and the more I do this the fuller and freer my life becomes.  Loving God first and foremost especially helps me love others when I find them less than loveable.  I hope therefore since I can be difficult at times–like frequently–that they also love God first.

And besides when I really wonder about what all this means I just remind myself.

Jesus left heaven for me. . .and you. IMG_6281

Ten Days In, Need a Promise for Lent?


For those Christians participating in this season of Lent through intentional soul searching, sacrifice, and seeking, frankly, even those who are not, today is the 10th Day of Lent, a quarter of the 40 days leading to Easter.

One beautiful and tragic truth about the calendar and time

It marches forward, there is no going back

Time for those of us in human form marks the days, the hours

And it does so relentlessly

Without any “hitting the pause” button or “rewinding”, without my control

Like the poem, “Into the valley of death marched the six hundred”*

Marching like the Grand Old Duke of York’s men, “up the hill” and “down again” **

Reaching that magical peak of life, younger for some, older for others, before the after,

beginning the downward march or on more days than I care to admit the “SLIDE”

I can look back, but I cannot go back

So forward I go….whether through Lent to Holy Week or through Advent to Epiphany

Season after season of life in this fragile flesh, with a finite mind and limited mastery

Remembering, Reenacting, but not Returning

So it was when the Incarnation occurred, Suddenly God became man

Christ Jesus, The Lord in the form of a baby and grew up to be a man

Came to be trapped by the movement of time

He Who knew the freedom from the calendar chose to be tied to the days and nights

Of human fleshly existence, no going back, no going back

Eyes fixed on a Cross, unlimited power and authority self-limited for those few years,

So that beaten, battered, bullied, the brunt of mockery stinging,

He struggled up the Via Delarosa, up Calvary’s hill bearing my sins

He struggled upward on the downhill side of His life as a man for you and me

In the darkness of despair, with the ugliness of all sin from beginning to end on him

The weight, the ways of the world infusing His dying form, God Left HIM,

Still human, Still divine but briefly separated from the Father

MY GOD, MY GOD, Why have You forsaken me?

He knew it was coming and still he continued…..

So here I am 10 days into Lent, considering the work Christ has done for me, the sacrifices made, the power of the Cross, the power of his resurrection. And then in Philippians I read:

For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 NET)

And I am reassured by the promise. He continues to work in me…to perfect me, to lead me to stand closer to the Cross as He leads me forward in time to that level land.

Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God. May your kind presence lead me into a level land. (Psalms 143:10 NET)

*Charge of the Light Brigade” Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1854
**The Grand Ole (Noble) Duke of York, English Nursery Rhyme

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