I have a love-hate relationship with Lent. I love the idea of self-control. Heck, I love the idea of self-sacrifice.
The older I get, the more my soul craves for a season with my God, not just daily life, but a retreat. An oasis of self-recognition in the reflection of His grace and sacrifice: Lent.
Yet, most of my young and adult experiences with Lent has been from the sideline. Watching non-spiritual, highly religious persons use this holy season to jump start their diet, save money, see how strong their self control is…who am I to judge though…
However, it’s given me a love-hate relationship with this mysterious season I long to partake in.
A few excerpts from A Holy Experience (via Ann Voskamp 2012) spoke loudest (and softest) to me on my quest for an understanding.
“ Let the things of this world fall away so the soul can fall in love with God…
Jesus with a crown of thorns, Jesus bent low, God carrying my rotten mess, Grace doing what I cannot do…
She who knows her sins much loves much, and the road to heaven is paved with the realization that I deserve hell…”
Meeting Christ for 40 days in the wilderness of my life, my soul, shouldn’t be hard. I am so wild and faulty it hurts.
Truth be told, the next 40 days of my life are jam packed with chaos and change. Both internally and externally. And life feels too full to stop and focus on God, too full to stop preparing for the next thing and simply be in my wilderness with my God, who graciously bends down and meets me where I am. Wild girl as I am.
Oh but how I need Him most now.
I cant help but think that was part of Christ’ prayer in the wilderness:
Oh but how I need you most now!
Any lent sacrifices I come up with seem superfluous. Not nearly adequate. Who am I to judge? Does He love me so little? He who knows my heart cry and has written the words in my soul. Any tiny thing I can do to bring me closer to Him is not superfluous or in vain, for every second extra I spend near Him is joy, is peace.
I am giving up screen time this Lent, and spending those minutes turned to hours reflecting on my wilderness. My cross. My sins.
Focusing on how better to cry for my Lord in distress and weary anxiousness. Leaning not on my own self control, ability, or understanding, but fully believing; thus, fully trusting in his nearness despite my cross.
So that, come Easter morning I can roll in the glory of His ever present grace.
The joy of His resurrection.
The joy of not just a savior, but also shepherd, and companion in all my wild places.