Thursday in the Second Week of Lent– Stepping Back

Golf coaches often teach that after lining up a putt and getting comfortable over the ball, the golfer should then take a step back, look at the line from a different perspective, and then go forward with putting the ball. In shooting free throws, you dribble the ball one last time before shooting, and in baseball we step out of the batter’s box and readjust before getting set to hit the oncoming pitch. Throughout sports there is the concept of “stepping back” before a critical moment in play.

 The Lenten season is a period of “stepping back.” It is a critical part of releasing the creative potential contained in our everyday problems. Problems are often not what we think they are, and Lent is a time to inquire more deeply into them. Problems are not fixed in time and space and are subject to constant change. Much of the pain caused by our problems stems in part from our own biases in terms of how we interpret our own difficulties. Thus the need to “step-back” and look at them differently.

 In the initial phase of reflecting on our own problems, the first thing to do is downplay our own assessment of our problems. We need to take the paradoxical approach of facing our problems by “stepping back” from them. Once we turn away, we are able to extend our viewpoint to other’s points of view. We ask, “How might another person perceive our problem.” This may be a difficult exercise, but it allows us to expand our vision.

 What “stepping back” is all about is leading us to the ability to clarify our thinking process, so that life can be examined from a deeper place. It draws us to an understanding of seeing beneath the surface with much broader lens. Stepping back leaves us from hasty made conclusions. Those same sports coaches will not go into this long  explanation of the need for the athlete to “step back,” they will just say it prevents the shot, the putt, the at-bat from being rushed. Lent gives us a “new routine” before we “step-up” to life.

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

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