Monday, February 4, 2008

Lent - Not just the stuff in your bellybutton!

Well, this Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the day we kick off Lent. Lent is that time of self-examination and reflection in which we prepare to walk the road with Jesus to Jerusalem. Often we might give up something for Lent; things like chocolate, or coffee, or meat, or chewing gum (some of the things that have been given up in my household over the years). We give up things so that when we miss these things in our lives, we remember that sacrifice made for us.

Lent is coming early this year with Easter falling on March 23. I feel like it is here before I am ready. I keep thinking thoughts like, "but, I just need a little more time and I will be ready" or "I can't do this right now, I'll think about it later." Then I think, what if Jesus thought these thoughts. What if Jesus had said, "yeah, Dad, I'll go to earth later, I'm not ready now," or if in the garden, Jesus had prayed a prayer that went more like, "no God, I don't want to do this," rather than "not my will but yours."

Lent is as good a time as any to put our will away, to put our selfishness on a shelf. The world today would tell us to take care of #1 meaning self, but those of us who claim faith know that true happiness, contentment and peace comes from putting others first. We can trust that God will take care of us, and should trials and tragedy come along, we can trust that God walks with us through them all.

Blessings to you all for a Holy Lent in which you examine, "is this my will or God's?" You ask yourself "am I living the way I know God wants for me?" And regardless of whether your answer is yes or no, may you begin down the road on the journey of faith to renewed closeness to God.

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