The Padre’s Ponderings – A Blogpost for Lent 2

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Don’t Take Anything for Granted

One of my favorite characters in the scriptures is a guy named Nicodemus. He seeks Jesus out in the dead of night because he is fearful of his peers who have waged battle with Jesus.  He comes looking for answers to questions about the things Jesus has taught. He doesn’t want to take anything for granted.

Last week, while attempting to do some stretching exercises, I lost my balance and took a hard fall injuring my left arm and shoulder. The good news is that I did not fracture any bones. Still, I damaged muscle and my roto cuff and am in the throes of several weeks of physical therapy. In addition to teaching me the hard lesson of how not to do what got me in this predicament, I have learned some things that I have just taken for granted: the ease with which prior to my accident I could get in and out of the car, shower and dress, tie my shoelaces, get in and out of bed, even preparing a meal. Everything takes more time to do and is a chore.

What my ordeal has raised for me is that there are even larger things in life that we have taken for granted. One that stands out these days is the Truth. Having grown up in an era where there was little “fake news” beyond some of the sensational gossip in yellow journalism publications, and when those in public office were by and large committed to the service of the country, it is discouraging and upsetting to be confronted with the state of the nation in 2017. Where is the Truth? It seems that a significant percentage of the populace may not even care.

Nicodemus did. He risked the wrath and retaliation of his friends in leadership positions – those who were more concerned with keeping their own power and wealth – and sought out this young radical Rabbi named Jesus to get to the bottom of things: to discover the Truth.

The way I see it, we are all in the dark when it comes to so many things we can take for granted. It’s also easy to “trip over” much of what we hear every day and even to lose our balance and be cajoled into a very partisan trend of thought. At risk is our loss of our common values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the foundation on which our country was birthed: that all are created equal. These are the bedrocks that have made America great.

Maybe it’s time to follow Nicodemus and ask Jesus some hard questions. Maybe we need to dig really hard for the truth. Maybe it’s there already in the person and life guide of Jesus. Maybe, just maybe, he’s the only constant Truth and our way out of the dark.