March 10, Lent 1C (Luke 4:1-13)
Lent invites us to pay attention to our hunger.
In the summer of 2015, our family spent a week in Scotland walking the Great Glen Way. Our boys were 12 and 13, and though they enjoyed the wide country and the accents and the Scottish breakfasts, the ten-mile walks over craggy terrain with only a ham sandwich and Cliff bars in their packs wore them thin.
On the third day, we set our sights on Drumnadrochit, a hamlet of 813 people nestled at the edge of Loch Ness, where the Glenurquhart Highland Games are held every August. However, by midday our sons were fatigued, complaining, trudging at a snail’s pace. For hours, the older one (Wyatt) had complained of foot pain, sharp stabs increasing to unbearable intensity. My wife, Miska, and I took turns hoisting this beast of a boy on our back and lugging him for as long as we could.
I realized we’d reached situation critical. It was 2:00, and though we had only an hour more to walk, I knew we were on the verge of mutiny. Our two boys, now dropped to the ground in exhaustion, would soon refuse to move another inch. On a previous stop in the village, I had spied a small candy shop tucked into an old stone row. I remembered the sign on the front door announcing the hours of operation: 9–5. Our boys love candy, and their eyes light up at the possibility of discovering a new shop with novel treats.