Yesterday was the beginning of the season of Lent. I missed it.
The church where I grew up did not observe Lent or even speak of it. I didn’t learn about it until later in my life when I was employed for a while at a church that practiced Lent. It was different, not what I was used to, but I tried to understand the idea of it and participate.
Since then, I’ve acknowledged Lent as the season leading up to the celebration of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Some years I’ve kind of created my own version of Lent and blogged for 40 days leading up to the day we call Easter. I don’t know if that was OK or not.
How often have we said or thought, “I’m in a season of life.” It could be the season of raising young children or praying them and us through the teenage years. We could be enduring months of health issues or cancer treatments. It could be a job we see as only a stepping stone to the position we really want.
I love the changing seasons in the beautiful state where I live. Each one has its special moments, though I begin to feel like I’m simply enduring in the month of February, wanting March to come and initiate spring.
Are we supposed to just endure our season, looking toward something else? Are we supposed to hold on for dear life while we hope and pray for something else, a better season?
I certainly have been there.
Living in the present and being in the moment has become a longing for me. Looking back has its advantages and looking forward is encouraged as we press toward the mark. But in being here, at this place and at this time, I am more likely to see the blessings, experience the joy, revel in the process, appreciate the people with me in the right here and now.
During the weeks leading up to Easter, I most certainly want to remember the past and the price Jesus paid for my soul, to remember Him in communion of the Lord’s Supper, and remember the great and precious promises He left for me recorded in Holy Writ.
I will look forward to the changes in nature, the budding and bursting forth of flower and tree. I will write down garden ideas and plan a trip to visit the family-too-far-away. I will anticipate celebrating Resurrection Sunday.
But during this year’s 40-day journey to the cross and the empty tomb, I want to try to be present in the moment. I want to look people in the eye and listen, really listen, not just wait my turn to speak. Perhaps then I might understand.
I want to try to stop multi-tasking so much and give attention to the one task at hand, even enjoy it. Maybe I’ll learn something in it.
I want to enjoy the ride because life is a journey. I want to do more than just think about getting to the next destination in the quickest mapquest way possible.
The idea of Lent offers possibilities for us to change, not just our profile picture on Facebook, but to change the way we’ve always done it. Perhaps there is a better way, a way that could open our hearts and our minds to something new.
Will you join me on the journey? It could be fun. We might learn a little more contentment. It could bring joy. We may begin to love a little better.