For weeks Great Lent has been forcing us to focus on how to live our life. Whether it be fasting, extra prayers, helping the poor, or which services to attend this week, we have been forced to make choices. Of course, the Church would prefer us to choose to attend services tonight, but free will allow for us to choose. If we are interested in growing closer to Christ, then we accept that the choices of Great Lent help us to learn to choose to live as Christ would want us to live.
Choices about fasting and Church services is only the beginning. As today’s reading from Proverbs reveals, the choices we make about daily life has a greater impact for our future with Christ. We can choose to keep our mouth shut, or scoff at the efforts of others. We can choose to work, or spend a lazy life waiting for others to do everything for us. It is the choices we make that that will determine our future with God.
When we choose the life God desires for us, then we are choosing heaven. As Great Lent slowly comes to an end this week, have you made choices that lead to heaven, or death? If you have chosen to fast, then you have learned to keep your mouth shut (in a matter of speaking) and that will be a blessing. If you have chosen to attend extra Church services, then you have learned to work rather than be a sluggard. If you have chosen to serve the poor, then you have learned to make a holy sacrifice. In that case, Great Lent will be a blessing to you.
He who keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. "Scoffer" is the name of the proud, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride. The desire of the sluggard kills him for his hands refuse to labor. All day long the wicked covets, but the righteous gives and does not hold back. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent. A false witness will perish, but the word of a man who hears will endure. A wicked man puts on a bold face, but an upright man considers his ways. No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel, can avail against the LORD. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD. A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. The rich and the poor meet together; the LORD is the maker of them all. A prudent man sees danger and hides himself; but the but the simple go on, and suffer for it. The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life. - Proverbs 21.23-22.4