Meditation written by Cathy Tamsberg.
Read by Colleen Farris.
According to the Gospels, Jesus is eight days away from his death. In today’s text, he explains what is going to happen when they get to Jerusalem, but his disciples don’t understand it. (Luke 18:31-34) That may have been a good thing. If they’d known what was coming, they may not have gone with him.
From our vantage point, it seems that Jesus had a lot of choices here, with going to Jerusalem only one of them. He could have headed in the other direction, up to Galilee perhaps, to continue his healing and teaching. Out in the countryside there were certainly good things left for him to do. He could have gone to the home of his friends Mary and Martha to rest for a while. Surely he was due for a break. In fact, a variety of seemingly good, worthwhile choices were available to him when he set his course toward Jerusalem.
This is how it often is with us. Says Sister Joan Chittister in reflecting on her early days in the monastery, “The great problem of the spiritual life, I soon learned, was not the problem of choosing good from bad. Learning to choose good from bad was, in fact, deceptively easy. There are few who steal, few who lie. There are not too many of us with uncontrollable tempers or destructive jealousies…No, I soon learned, the real problem of the spiritual life was not rooted in having too learn to avoid evil and choose good; the real problem lay in having to learn to choose good from good…What makes the spiritual life different from any other life?…The answer is it is what we are and how we do what we do that is the mark of the spiritual life. It is what we are while we are doing whatever we do…”
For some people, often because they live in desperate conditions, it is hard to choose what is good. For some, it’s challenging not to steal or abuse others. Addictions certainly make it hard not to drink too much or use illegal drugs or overuse legal ones. But for many people, the real challenge is in choosing among good options. “Where is the highest good?” is an ongoing question for many of us.
We can only find the answer to this question from a centered place. So today find time to think about where you are being called to make a choice among good things. Then find a quiet place where you can reflect on what that choice needs to be.
This meditation is from “Lent: Sowing Season, Holy Time,” a collection of daily readings by Associate Pastor Cathy Tamsberg. Each day during Lent, from Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013, to Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, a new excerpt read by a member of the Pullen congregation will be made available. To hear each day’s reading as it is published, subscribe to Pullen’s RSS feed, or listen to the podcast in iTunes.