MOM: “Do you know what lent is?”
DAUGHTER: “Uh yeah, it’s what comes out of the dryer.”
True story by my friend.
When a recovering perfectionist meets religion – trouble comes. I think this is the reason I run from things like Lent. If I have to cut something out or “do something” for X days. I ignore it. That’s terrible, but honest. I think I shy away from anything that smells like religion or legalism when I want to so desperately live my faith and life from a place of grace and authentic love of my creator. Plus, I have never been a fan of depriving myself of anything. And I don’t like pain, sweat or dirt. That’s another topic.
The above statements are not necessarily based on truth – just how I have processed this particular time of year in my head. Often, I take good things and then get confused or distorted without doing proper research … or huh, asking GOD!
If I did proper research and asked God what he wanted me to do. I’d probably have a different approach. I’d probably willingly sacrifice something in his honor and properly focus on his ultimate sacrifice.
I think the weight of what he did for me overwhelms me. I think the weight of communicating it well to my kids overwhelms me.
I know I get frozen in figuring it out and do nothing. What if I just make a step? And what if I was satisfied with knowing Jesus and growing? Not doing it all just perfectly.
The truth is that he gave a tremendous sacrifice for my life and yours. This season of lent the days leading up to the resurrection are a big deal. They are a lot to digest. However, what we do or don’t do – doesn’t make or break our relationship with our Savior. It doesn’t hinge on this. In my opinion, it’s another chance we get to know him better and stop and reflect. To properly put things in alignment. I don’t believe in works. I believe in grace.
Frankly, if we believe in Jesus – we all should care about this time of year.
What if some of us took pressure off ourselves?
What if some of us dove in this year to Lent with a genuine heart?
- What if it wasn’t so public and not so much about what we did?
- What if we privately chose to take away something or sacrifice for these days and told no one – and prayed through that struggle as a way to honor our Lord and get closer to Him?
- What if we asked God to search our hearts – and reveal something we might should give up that would hurt? A true sacrifice.
- What if we took this time to center our breakfast or dinner discussions around God? Our church suggested praying one word/virtue of Phillippians 4:8 every day.
- If you want a family activity – try this Lenten Tree idea I shared a couple years back or try this great new resource by Oh Amanda.
- You might also consider the #LentChallenge with Margaret Feinberg and read the New Testament
Or, ask HIM! What does He have for you during this time? He probably wants nothing FROM you and so much FOR you. He probably just wants you. Your love, your attention. Your time with Him. He doesn’t want a performance or perfection.
Ah, his grace is real and feels so good to hear it and feel it.
I don’t think my confusion around this times makes me a poser … makes me real and broken. Makes me in need of my Savior and probably perfectly positioned as I enter this Lenten season. (did I even say that right? someone with ashes on their head – help me!)
With all respect, love and vulnerability – Courtney