Here are my thoughts for the “Back Page” for this Sunday, 15 March 2020, the 3rd Sunday in Lent (Year A). We will be conducting services online for the next couple of weeks; I will try to post a link to the services when it becomes available.
It seems to me that we measure information in two ways, the bit and the bite.
The bit is the smallest piece of information that we can store on a computer. Eight bits becomes a byte and over the years, the amount of information that we have had to store now approaches the terabyte (Tb) or 1012 bytes. When I started working with personal computers, our information storage capacity was on the on the order of 540 Kb, a mere fraction of what our computer hard drives hold today.
The other measure of information is the bite, or rather the “sound bite” and over the same years that information technology has increased, the “sound bite”, or unit of information that we are willing to accept has decreased, rather dramatically. It was said that President John Kennedy was the last President to convey ideas in complete sentences. Now, the ideas that must be presented must be done in 10 minutes and sometime 5 minutes or less.
Deluged in information, we seek the quickest possible answer to our problems. Deluged in information, we let others do our thinking for us. We are quite willing to sacrifice our own ability to analyze and think about things because it takes too long.
But analysis and thinking require patience. It requires time to gather all the information, work out the order it should be in, and what it all means. During the Exodus, the Israelites were constantly testing God. It was like they expected to arrive at the “Promised Land” the day after they left Egypt.
I think that is one reason that Lent takes 40 days. It takes time to prepare because you have to think about what it all means. Even in those moments in life where decision must be made right now, you need to have prepared for those moments. As Louis Pasteur once stated, “chance favors the prepared mind.”
So, instead of rushing through Lent, let us pause and consider what it is that we want during this period of time. It will be there and when we arrived, we will also be ready.
~~ Tony Mitchell