Philippians 4:8. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
I have always loved this passage. In fact, I have carried it my wallet for about 25 years and initially when asked to contemplate its meaning for our Lenten Reflection thought what a nice coincidence. The passage was in the Sunday pamphlet at Trinity Parish Church one week when I was a member of that congregation and I cut it out to put in one of those clear wallet cases for photos and business cards. Now I am embarrassed. I suppose I put it in my wallet, and not just at home taped to a refrigerator or pinned to a bulletin board, because having it close I would better follow God’s instructions on how to proceed through life. However, I don’t look at God’s command very often because I mostly use other parts of my wallet so I don’t often contemplate its meaning let alone follow the directions as often as I should. I am not always true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, or commendable as I should be, and at times not even close. I hurry to get more done as if that is the goal of my existence and my ego or as Richard Rohr refers to it, my false self, reacts when my true self would really like to respond. So how do I get to a place where I can more readily follow God’s gentle and lovely command? Slow down and notice because even in the worst of times God wants us to rise up and see the good in every situation and person, and he wants us to see it in ourselves, his beloved. This is not always easy to do, but isn’t this what Lent wants us to do, isn’t this what I should be doing every day of the year? So, it is time to take God’s command out of my wallet and get it out in the open so that my true and centered self can strive to see as God sees, to understand as God understands, and to do as God wants me to do.