I imagine that you read the title above and an image involving horses, plowshares, or tractors came immediately to mind. The Bible is full of agricultural imagery and illustrations so one could be expected to think of that in reference to a phrase like “plowing the field.”
One of the things that Jesus did repeatedly was turn his followers expectations upside-down. Just when you thought you were understanding the story, Jesus flipped the script and suddenly bad was good, rich was poor, nothing was something. We also call this a “paradigm shift.” Looking at a familiar thing from a new and different perspective.
There are some humorous ways of understanding a paradigm shift. For example, changes in punctuation came completely change the meaning of something. Consider:
- Let’s eat, Grandma! OR - Let’s eat Grandma!
Obviously, two VERY different concepts! One small difference, in this case a comma, gives a whole different perception.
On a serious note, that’s what Jesus often does with his parables and teachings. He tries to get us to see the ways in which God’s kingdom differs from our worldly one. He wants us to realize, and to see, that there are more ways of looking at the world than the one we have become so comfortable with in our own life.
It’s one thing to say to myself, “Sure, I know that there are other ways of looking/seeing/doing/speaking/learning/serving/caring than the one I use.” It’s another thing to deliberately seek out those alternatives, to look at what we do and wonder what more could be done if we were willing to try something different.
I think that’s part of what Lent is all about. This season of reflection offers a great opportunity to consider our Christian walk and whether there is a new or different way to proceed. I’m not trying to suggest that every one of you reading this NEEDS a new or different way to live your faith. What I AM saying is God is constantly doing “a new thing” and if you need one, God will provide. All you have to do is be willing to look beyond your assumptions and expectations and ask the Spirit to show you a new path.
So…back to plowing the field. I want you to bring up that image in your mind again. Got it?
Is this it? This Lent try to imagine how God might be calling you to a new way of looking at your life of faith.