Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Lenten Reflection
I am not really a lemming, but I play one on my blog.

Most Christian bloggers today are probably going to be putting up their thoughts about Lent. What it means to them. What they are going to do...or not do. Some will look to begin a Lenten reflection series that will walk them and fellow bloggers through a series of Christ centered reflections in an effort to help them to understand the great suffering of Christ, His time in the desert, and the correlation between those 40 days and the length of Lent. Some will discuss the significance of Holy Week and some may even discuss the timing of Lent in relation to the pagan rituals of Ancient Rome. I am not going to discuss these things today...oops, I sort of did.

Please, I hope I did not offend anyone. These are all tasks that are worthy of discussion on our faith journey. I, myself, will try to do some of these things in my personal life. But you may ask, "Uh, JD...what is your point?"

As each of us discuss these items with our families, friends, and congregations; as each of us explore our own relationship with the Lord, let us ask ourselves why it takes a time in the church calendar, like Lent, to reflect on these things in our lives. Why is it that we can give up things in our life that are particularly not good for us anyway, yet pick up these "bad habits" again after Easter? Why is it that we can work on sacrifice, prayer, and reflection during Lent, but the rest of the year it seems to be less of a priority...for some? Why?

I am not perfect and, at times, I have felt somewhat hypocritical in this post, because I too am challenging myself to do things and live ways I should be living everyday of my Christian walk. As I step into the Lenten season, I too am a lemming. I will be reflecting more than I usually do on a daily basis. My hope: to understand the challenges that I face. My hope: to have the courage to trust the Lord enough to not just breathe a sigh of relief on Easter Sunday, but that I continue forward with my choices and reflections. My ultimate hope: to live any changes I made during Lent every day for the rest of my life.

During this Lenten season, are YOU going to be a lemming with a purpose, or just a lemming doing what lemmings do?

 
  posted at 7:04 AM
  4 comments



4 Comments:
At 7:42 PM, Blogger John said...

Very interesting perspective. Are we following a prayerful Lenten life because God is calling us to, or because everyone else is?

 
At 9:33 AM, Blogger JD said...

John,

I would like to think that we are all striving to have a prayerful life the entire year because Jesus called us to. Lent, to me, is a time in the church that reminds us of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. About the sacrifices we should make. Advent reminds us of the joyful blessings we receive through Christ. The rest of the time, the "Ordinary Time" in the church allows us to try to perfect our prayer life.

Lent, and the focus on prayer life, at times, can be likened to the influx in church attendance after 9-11. My challenge, for myself, as well as others, would be to carry that focus on prayer in every part of our life, every day. Prayer is a habit and Lent can be a time to perfect that habit (psychologically, it usually takes 6 weeks to break or form a habit).

Thanks for your continued reading and input!

PAX
JD

 
At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Deji said...

Hey JD!

Thanks for the thought provoking post and my thoughts so far (in no particular order) are:

* That maybe it is not so much a "lemming" like action that happens to us at Lent but more one of the reality of our human condition manifesting itself during the season. That deep down we yearn to be better, to do better and this is the one time that we think it is possible. Even if for just a short time. There are those of us that are perhaps now shrugging of habits that we have tried, time and again, to let go of and are now where we are going to try to let it go for just 40 days in the belief that this season is a special time and that somehow God provides a special grace to let us do so.

* Kind of tied to the previous thought is this - that perhaps it becomes a doorway to permanent change. That perhaps every time we come to this season of Lent and come to this place of letting go of self and turning away from our desires, we are changed there. The change might be more subtle for some and for others, more poignant. We may find that some of us go back to our old habits after Lent but the find that are not as comfortable there as we used to be. Somehow in our observance of Lent, God has touched our hearts with something more significant than we had before and we are no longer satisfied to be less than He intended us to be.

* That deep down, we all struggle to be better people and we feel that at this time, in this particular season, we have a reason to try. We believe we will not be alone in our struggle to do better and somehow because we know that, the burden does not feel as heavy as it might at some other time. The thought that there are other people praying, giving up stuff and having a go at something similar to that which we struggle with somehow makes it easier to deal with.


That's it for now. It should have been a short comment but somehow it became a post on its own :-)

Blessings,
Deji.

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger JD said...

Deji,

Thanks for posting. Your input, as always, is greatly appreciated and respected.
From what you said, one word sticks out...grace. That is really what it is about and experiencing it in a special way during Lent that allows for conversion from or defeat of either bad habits, or addictions, is more than any man can hope for, but that every child of Christ, every believer, should expect. Through faith, we are extended grace as a gift that we don't deserve, but desperately need.

PAX
JD

 

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