One of the last things that Jesus said to his disciples was “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” And yet, we seem to specialize in troubled hearts! And actually that state makes sense in this uncertain world. We can worry over the environment, political divisions, day-to-day finances, health concerns, the welfare of friends and family members… our concerns are real and certainly capable of creating troubled hearts.
So then, when he made this admonition, was Jesus oblivious? Did he not understand life’s pressures? Was he a blind optimist? No, no, and no. In fact Jesus tells his disciples not to be troubled as he stands at the edge of his own passion and death. Judas has just betrayed him and Jesus knows his death is near. This is not a time for idle conversation. His message is urgent, in the imperative: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Then he tells them why. God is trustworthy and so is he.
As we enter Lent, I think about our human ways of being. Sometimes we are self-absorbed, sometimes self-conscious, sometimes even self-aware. But there is a fourth state open to people…that is simple awareness. And at the end of his life, Jesus invited us to this. He invited us to put our burdens down and trust in God who holds a place open for each of us to rest in our simple awareness of the divine.
This Lent, as we travel together through the story of Jesus’ last days, I pray that our trust in God will grow and that each of us may rest in simple awareness and find peace for our troubled hearts.