Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Deanna: Grabbing Hold of Freedom

From Deanna Matzen, Earth Ministry Operations Manager

In reflecting on my Lenten journey of fasting from driving to work, I find that I am inspired to continue bussing or biking at least twice a week. I will still drive to work on occasion because my schedule may require it, but I know I will take alternative transportation far more often than I did a year ago.

There will be times when I fail to plan ahead and am forced to drive. For example, I have a doctor's appointment at the end of the day tomorrow and I had planned, without hesitation, to take the bus until I found out that we have a board meeting only 45 minutes after my appointment starts and I will barely make it on time by driving and to bus would make me very late and frustrated. But this unfortunate scheduling conflict reminds that these conflicts can be avoided with a little diligence. I look forward to next week when I will take the bus without thinking and enjoy the long walk to the bus stop.

One of the things I've enjoyed the most on my morning and evening walks to and from the bus stop is the interaction with nature. I've seen hummingbirds in the dead of winter, watched bulbs and buds begin to emerge, felt the sun on my back, and smelled the deep fragrance of daphnes. When I'm in my car, I miss all of those blessed gifts of creation.

I often feel like the apostle Paul who described at length his struggle to do the things he wanted to do and to not do the things he didn't want to do (Romans 7 and 8). For so long, I wanted to get out of my car and to bike or bus, but I just wasn't able to do it. The gift of Lent this year was to force myself to get over my excuses and to make it a habit. Or to spiritualize the experience, I was able to grab ahold of the freedom of Christ which allows us to overcome our sinful self and live a life of freedom. I am grateful for those 40 days of being in the wilderness with Jesus. I am better for it and the Earth is better for it to. I hope that you too had a blessed Lenten journey and that you will continue along with us on the journey to see all of creation healed and restored.

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