2014 Lent 4

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Philippians 4:10-23

Day four of Lent is here and I’ve already flubbed a little.  I resolved to write something daily–which I am indeed doing now.  But it was to be drawn from the lectionary section of the Prayer Book.  Here’s the flub: I forgot to bring a Prayer Book home.  So I’m not entirely certain that this is one of today’s selections; but if my memory serves me correctly it is, or most of the passage I’ve cited above is.  I’ve been in Philippians the last couple of days, and this passage wraps up the entire book, so that makes me pretty sure.

In any event, here Paul ends his consolation to the church at Philippi.  “Don’t worry about me,” he says effectively.  “I’m about to die, sure.  But it’s something we all must face some day.  I’m ready to press on, to face it, whatever happens.  And thanks, by the way, for being there for me, for helping me through hard times.”  And then we read those well-known words, “For I have learned to be content with whatever I have.”

As much of a hardass as Paul is in other parts of scripture, this is really a rather sweet episode: it shows Paul at his most human, perhaps at his most vulnerable.  Great way to go out, if you ask me!

As for me, however, I’m still trying to land that one: I’m still trying to be content with whatever I have.

And while it doesn’t always happen this way, this morning it was easy.  I woke before all but the five year-old.  He was perfectly content with an hour of Looney Tunes.  So with the boob tube preoccupying I turned my attention to breakfast.  The plan for the day is to finish the taxes–the worst year ever regarding taxes, mind you, with a sold rental house and job changes and scholarships to account for and four small businesses to keep us afloat during our days at seminary (never again, I’ve vowed!).  But I’m trying to be content, whatever the situation.  So first, before tackling this behemoth, I decided to cook my family breakfast.

The refrigerator revealed bacon, potatoes, a fat yellow onion, two dozen eggs, and raw tortillas.  And I had an idea.  These last things, by the way, the raw tortillas, are pretty dang cool.  They’re already formed and shaped; but they’re still in the form of dough, kind of like those cookies you can buy in dough-state, just open the canister and plop them on a cookie sheet, bake, and voila!  With the tortillas, just throw them on a hot iron skillet, 15 seconds on one side and 5 on the other, and voila too!

So, while the bacon was cooking I sliced the onion and potatoes and made orange juice and coffee.  Bacon done, I removed it from the pan and threw the potatoes and onion directly into the hot bacon grease.  By now the smells and sounds were luring the three teenagers out of their rooms, and my bride Holly was treating herself to an essential oil-infused bath.  I heard MarioKart come on in the family room–guess it trumped Looney Tunes–and soon thereafter exclamations of delight.  And I added the eggs.

Some fifteen minutes later the tortillas weren’t raw anymore and the table was set and breakfast was served.

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Whatever else, we all experienced contentment on this fine Saturday morning.  Now if only I could learn contentment the rest of the week!

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