It’s just been a tough couple of weeks..certainly don’t want to compare myself to Job, but at my lowest moments, that’s where I’m going. Why is it that at times the struggles seem to come from every direction? No matter what I plan for my ‘lenten sacrifices/promises,’ God always has other plans. And so, in the midst of all of this ‘garbage’ which I’m dealing with now, God is there. And so, my next questions must become, “What am I to learn from this…..how can I grow from this?”
And, as I oscillate between wallowing in self-pity and holding out for the sunrise, I catch a glimpse of my daffodil bulbs poking through the winter ground. In the midst of the snow and cold, the dead leaves and twigs, the promise of spring bursts through. The fresh green of new life reaching up to the heavens…..now that is LENTEN HOPE!
The dance of lent…..
Who’s leading the dance?
What ‘music’ are you listening to?
And for today…..which dance are you dancing?
ballet – lots of turns, trying to keep your balance?
jazz – moving to a rhythm, lots of improv., just trying to listen to the music?
tap – fast moving, keeping up with the tempo, carefully crafting each step?
hip-hop – trying to keep up – moving with the culture?
And…..when you stumble…..whose arms do you fall into?
Reflect on this…..
He speaks in the silence
The first will be last and the last will be first
Blessed be the….poor, mourning, meek, hungry
“I’ll have dinner at your house tonight Zacchaeus”
“If I don’t wash your feet…..”
“Whoever loves his life will lose it”
“It is profitable for you that I go away”
Death on a cross means victory
And we wonder why people have trouble with Christianity????
I’ve been thinking about lent this year…
what shall I do,
what shall I give up,
what shall I take on?
Should I try the ‘sweets thing’ again like my friend does? Why bother, I can never make it all the way through, I start to rationalize…yogurt with chocolate bits, is that considered ‘sweets?’ And then in a weak moment I grab a cookie. That’s it, I’ve broken my lenten promise, and the guilt sets in…
How about taking on some extra prayers,
reading the Bible more,
random acts of kindness…..
How about giving up beets and turnips – ok, not such a sacrifice –
but at least I can do that for 40 days!!!
So, in a few hours lent begins and it’s time to make my final decision
This year I have decided that lent will not be ‘action’, it will be ‘attitude’.
When I look ahead to the glory of Easter,
I am humbled by the Gift of the Resurrection.
It’s really all gift, isn’t it?
And so, to prepare myself for the Easter Gift, I will spend lent emptying myself.
De-cluttering my thoughts
surrendering my anger and resentments
throwing away my judgments
detaching from worldly distractions
This lent will be about attitudes not actions…..care to join me?
Oh please don’t rush lent this year, I’m just not ready!
Lent takes work, lent takes discipline, lent takes sacrifice, lent takes energy.
Everywhere I look I see lent – lenten flyers, lenten blogs, and lenten booklets.
Not quite yet – please!
I need a bit more time….
to think of only myself
to be too weary to pray
to play on the computer instead of read my spiritual books
to say whatever I want without watching my words
TO EAT CHOCOLATE
I’m not ready lent – don’t come too quickly – I don’t want to change
I’m comfortable just as I am
how I need lent this year!
What an interesting lent this is turning out to be. To all those strong and disciplined people out there, I tell you this in the utmost humility: This year the lenten promise that I made lasted a whole 6 days! I think that this was the shortest thus far in my life!
My lenten promise, what I decided to do, what I thought was best….hmm… and, as usual, God has other plans! Now, I’m not blaming God for my lack of will power (that chocolate was just too good to resist!), but as the days and weeks passed, I realized that there is something to learn here, how can I grow from this experience?
First, it teaches me great humility – I’m not in charge and I am not strong enough to ‘go it alone’. I trip and fall, over my own feet sometimes, and I’m so grateful for the loving arms that always pick me up and hold me as I begin to walk again.
Second, if I am quiet enough then I can hear that tiny whisper which lets me know what I should really be concentrating on. And, it is always gift, pure gift, not deprivation, although sometimes it may sting a little, like the bright light on a sunny day.
So, what is it for me this lent?
I remember the cross….I remember the reason for the cross. He asks me to give to him my worries. Fears that have actually become a part of me. Worries that I cling to. He wants them, He wants my healing, he wants my wholeness….
Now, that’s really giving something up for lent!
L et God be God – Not letting God be God may actually be the Sin against the Holy Spirit
E very single minute of the day be aware of God’s presence. Practice the ‘present moment’
N othing can separate us from God’s love….
T he First Commandment: God first…GOD ALWAYS FIRST!