Updated: Mar 19, 2020
“Lent comes providentially to awaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” Pope Francis “There is a time for everything.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Our humanness needs a time of the year to shake things up a little bit! Space to reflect, get real, grow in self-awareness, remove distraction and noise, detach from comfort, say no to make room for a greater yes. Lent has a lot to offer us in the awakening, if we are willing. And like all things in our spiritual journey, Jesus leads the way. Lent is about joining Jesus in his 40-day harrowing wilderness experience which was sandwiched between two very different events---Hearing the voice of God say He was beloved (Luke 3:22) and teaching in the synagogues where the Galileans glorified Him (Luke 4:14). The way of Jesus included: 1) Encouragement from the Father; 2) Intensity of the Wilderness, and 3) Powerful Service. Most of us will gladly sign up for 1 and 3 but tend to opt-out on 2. However, a true spiritual journey always includes death, loneliness, questioning and tempting times. What needs to die or fall asleep in me so that something much better may awaken? Maybe death to my agenda, ways of thinking, ways I promote myself and try to get love. But it's tricky because I don’t see these things easily and I can’t will them to happen. However, I can create space for transformation, which is why the 40 days of Lent can be so, well . . . transformative As Ruth Haley Barton says, “We too, must face the subtle temptations to the false self so that we can be ‘cleared out’ for real ministry. Here we face our own darkness. . . . In the emptiness created by whatever it is we are fasting from, we become more aware of the compulsions of the false self.” Will you go here with Jesus this Lent? Find some friends to explore the possibilities of this season together. I go with you and will be offering reflections on the themes of Lent during the coming weeks. And don't forget the Maundy Thursday Day of Guided Silence that I lead with my Exhale team.