I’ve shared before that I approach Lent a little differently than others might. People ask, “What are you giving up for Lent?” and I’ll respond with something like, “This year I’m giving up winter. I’m done with it.” Or, “I’m giving up smoking.” Um, I’ve never smoked, so it’s an easy one to give up.
My focus is not on giving something up just for the sake of it, but more on the question of, how do I use these six weeks to draw closer to God? In years past I’ve given up clutter and tried to simplify my life. Or I’ve added a devotional reading, or picked up a Bible study. And I’m ashamed to say, this year I hadn’t put a lot of thought into what I would do for Lent before it started.
If I had to pick a theme for this Lent, I think it’s going to be Preparation. Not only preparation for the Lord’s sacrifice for me, but preparation for all that’s about to happen to me as I journey to Local Licensed Pastor beginning in June. For instance, I have to order a clerical robe. I think I’ve got one picked out, but there’s so MANY! And I have to prepare for licensing school, and I have a challenging workload in classes to get through before then…it’s going to be a full season, and I think its theme is Preparation.
In each of these, the trick is to live into the truth that God will provide. He will lead me through whatever I need to, in order to achieve Preparation. I can’t obsess over all the to-dos, or all that’s hanging over me. On an everyday basis, I have to let go of trying to be the one controlling it all, and let the Preparation happen to me, and indeed for me.
I think that’s also part of Lent: the surrender. The giving over to the one who gave himself over for us, and recognizing what that sacrifice calls us into.
Have a blessed Lent.