Tomorrow lent begins and while it isn’t traditionally practiced in my denomination, I pay attention to, and follow the Christian calendar. I think there is a lot to be said for the rhythms and disciplines that keep your head above water when you start to sink. When you can no longer tread the depths and need assistance with the buoyancy of your faith. When you don’t know what to pray, sometimes a book of prayers works. Pray the psalms when you can’t find your words.
That is what lent is for me. It is the season in which I ask myself, what is it that is keeping me afloat? I challenge myself to remove anything that could become my first or only and ask ‘how am I facing up to this life’?
Recently I have been thinking of all the ways I cover for God. All the ways I tread water with dying-flesh strength instead of floating on the generous gift of His spirit. There are so many ways I seek the applause of man instead of the clear and succinct well done.
Whenever it is that I start to tread water in my very own strength, when I start to believe that I am really nailing this life, whenever I achieve some success, without warning my insecurity rises up. Whenever I attempt to build my reputation I disintegrate. I can only really thrive when I am under the thumb of God. The truth of it is I am entirely too small to be the centre of my own universe, I create a black hole, collapse in on myself. Keep back or I will take you with me.
For me, this lent, is not about removal but renewal. This Lent it will be about all the ways I am taking my life, my pain and my pride to Christ. I will crucify it with Him and for me the only way to do that is pen and ink.
So for lent…join me here