Maybe we could stow something away with that hour. You know, like in a time capsule. We could set something aside as a gift to our future self. We're in Lent now. What might be something we could put away now that might bless us when we get that hour back on the 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time?
By that time we will be raking up the leaves that haven't even budded on the trees yet. We will know the winner of the World Series for a baseball season that hasn't even begun yet. We will be uprooting the flowers on our decks that we haven't even planted yet.
It's also likely that, by the time November comes, something will have happened in our life from now until then that surprised us. Likely too, something will have happened that will have troubled or upset us. Something will have happened that will have tested our faith or demanded much from us.
That's really what Lent is about. We strengthen our spirits now so that no matter what storms may come in the days ahead, we will find ourselves rooted in grace and firmly tethered to Christ.
So maybe we could pray an extra hour now or attend an extra daily Mass now on behalf of the trials that await our future self. We could write down some of the insights or experiences that bless us during Lent and re-read them again to boost us in November.
Jesus spoke to his disciples at the Last Supper. He shared with them wisdom to strengthen them for the days ahead. He told them, "I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe" (John 14:29) and "All this I told you so that you will not fall away" (John 16:1).
So we strive to learn the voice of Jesus now, so that in the days to come when he calls to us we can say, “I know that voice. That is the trusted voice of my Savior. I will follow him.” We learn the ways of God now, so that if and when the darkness comes, we will know the ways of God so well that we can find the path even in the dark.
Lent reminds us that we are on a journey. We can’t make it through a long journey on an empty tank. God grants the grace for the March to November – and beyond. Fill up your capsules. Spring forward. Your future self and others will be blessed and grateful that you did.