Exodus 5:1-2, 10-11
So the taskmasters and the supervisors of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw. Go and get straw yourselves, wherever you can find it but your work will not be lessened in the least.’”
All the Israelites wanted to do was to go into the wilderness for a few days and worship God. But they were in bondage, Pharaoh was in charge, and Pharaoh did not want them to go.
And what was their punishment for asking? They had to make bricks, produce just as much as before, except this time they were not allowed to use straw, the strengthening agent to keep these sun-dried bricks from crumbling.
Now what? It’s that sinking question in your stomach that arises when life will not slow down even when you need it to the most. The kids need to be dropped off, meals need to be made, the house needs to be cleaned, you still have to go to work, and as of last week you’ve slipped on the ice and broken your toe. Now what? Oh and now the dog has to go to the vet. Now what? The question has now become a plea.
If “now what?” is the question the answer is freedom. Freedom is what the Israelites needed and through Moses would eventually get. Freedom from our impossibly busy lives and the ability to slow down is what we need and through Lent can possibly get.
This is not to say that the demands of life will slow down. This is not to say that the necessities of our modern existences will go away. But you will be amazed by how much freedom is found, even amidst the business and “now what’s?” of life, when we take time to pray, to reflect, to live into our Lenten callings.
“I have so much to do that I will spend the first three hours in prayer.” –Martin Luther
Pr. Dan Joyner Miller