Lent is not a neutral word

ImageOne cannot hear the word ‘lent’ and not have an emotional response.  Lent is not a neutral word.  When I think about lent as a child, I remember giving up candy, gum, or ice cream.  The few times that I made it all the way through lent, I felt a bit smug and proud at the end of the 40 days.  Most times I gave in to ‘temptation’ and then the guilt and remorse set in.  But…those were my childhood memories.  I’ve grown and my feelings about lent have as well.

I remember a lent a few years ago that was so joyous for me that I almost felt guilty for being so happy.  It was a lent laced with love – with the thought of all that He did for me was out of love.  His choice…He chooses to love me more than His own life.  He chooses to accept me in all my weaknesses and flaws and, He chooses to die for me.  His choice – my Grace. That year lent was a gift and it was a joy-filled 40 days.

Most lents are a mix.  With so much inner and outer work to do, how could these 40 days not be a mixture of pain, sorrow, joy, and love?  What will this lent bring?

I will try to remain open to whatever emotions fill me these next 40 days.  I will try to approach lent as an adult with the heart of a child.

 

 

Shall We Dance?

I have a pillow that inspires me…..

I won’t interpret it because I think that it will have a different meaning to each reader.  It says:

Dancing with the feet is one thing,

but dancing with the heart is another……

Today….shall we dance????                                       

Pleasure or Joy

Pleasure or Joy – is there a difference?  I was having a conversation with someone last week and he began to speak about pleasure vs. joy.  As he told it, pleasure is fleeting, joy is lasting.  He gave an example, ‘I can have a glass of wine and that could bring me great pleasure…a good wine, sitting to enjoy it, perhaps sharing it with others, great pleasure.  But when the glass is finished, the pleasure is over.’

Joy is more eternal because joy does not depend on outside circumstances.  Joy is an attitude of the heart.  Joy can sustain good times and bad, peace and turmoil, pain and sorrow. 

I’m sure that Jesus didn’t feel any pleasure on the cross…but, I would imagine that he kept joy in his heart.  Otherwise, how could he have chosen to do what he did?

Pleasure feels good.  Joy produces good.