Weird is the New Normal: A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis

Weird is the New Normal:  A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis
 
Weird – “of strange or extraordinary character.”
Normal – “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
  • Merriam Webster

Day Three – “Why are you angry, and why do you look so resentful?” – God (Gen. 4: 6)
Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel.  Abel took care of flocks of animals, and Cain was a farmer, working the soil and raising crops.  They both brought an offering to God.  Cain brought fruits and vegetables.  Abel brought “fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.” (Gen. 4: 4) God looked favorably upon Abel’s offering, but not on Cain’s.  Why?
I think God looked with favor upon Abel’s offering because it was well-thought-out and generous.  It was from the “firstborn” of his flock.  God wasn’t an afterthought to Abel.  His offering was the fat portion (God’s requirement in Leviticus 3: 16).  But Cain’s offering, is not the “first fruits.” As I picture Cain’s offering in my mind, I picture bruised bananas, spotty, moldy grapes and carrots with bunny teeth marks on them.  Whatever was left over that wouldn’t make it to market (if they’d had a market) was what God was offered.  So, God did not look on Cain’s offering favorably.
And Cain’s reaction?  He got really angry!  Which brings us to our day-three question… “Why are you so angry and resentful, Cain?”  Is it old-fashioned sibling rivalry?  Ah, yes.  The old, “Daddy likes you more than he does me,” argument…  That is certainly possible.  Was Cain angry with God?  “What do you expect from me, anyway, God?  To be perfect, like your golden boy, Abel?” I can see that happening.  Or was Cain really angry with himself?  “Why can’t I be more like my brother?” I saw a quote that said, “How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.” Was it a combination of all of the above?
More important than the reason for Cain’s anger is his response to it.  If Cain doesn’t get a handle on his anger and resentment, then (as God tells him) “sin is crouching at his door.” (Gen. 4: 7) You know how Cain’s story ends.  What about us?
Reflection: What makes you angry, and how do you handle your anger?
Action:  During Lent, practice a “Daily Examen.”  At the end of your day, prayerfully reflect on these 5 things:
  • Ask God for Light – I want to look at my day with God’s eyes, not merely my own.
  • Give thanks – The day I have just lived is a gift from God.  I am grateful for it.
  • Review the day – I carefully look back on the day just completed being guided by the Holy Spirit.
  • Face your shortcomings – I face up to what is wrong – in my life and in me.
  • Look toward the day to come – I ask where I need God in the day to come.
  • (ignatianspirituality.com)   

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