The construction project to replace a major water valve that began before the first winter flurry is complete. For weeks we have dealt with altered and alternate routes to get in and out of the church. Like every such project, the deeper the workers dug, the more they found needing to be repaired and replaced. Then there were all of the weather-related delays and setbacks. What a joy it will be on Sunday morning to once again come and go directly, and without detour.
As I drove away from the church tonight rejoicing in the completion of this project, I wondered whether our friends at the Department of Public Works intended to offer us such a great spiritual lesson. It occurred to me that the project began right after Thanksgiving, just about the first Sunday in Advent. At the outset of the season of anticipation and expectation we received the promise of a safe, secure, and sterile water supply for generations to come. And then the waiting began…
Today, on the 20th day of our 40 day Lenten journey with Jesus through the wilderness, the project was completed. This is the season we seek direction so that we would be delivered from detours that divert us in our journey to be with God. This is the season we are called to dig deep into our souls and spirits to repair and replace the things at risk of erupting and exploding. This is the season when we are asked to believe that detours are by nature temporary; that promises from God are permanent.
Our 18th Street hole has been a gift. In it we have learned the virtue and value of patience and perseverance. In it we will experience the joy of returning to right routes after having experienced forced deviations.
In this season of wandering and wondering, may your faith in completed construction projects be deep, and may any holes in your hope be filled.