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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lent: Season of Preparation

As we think about the season of Lent, we realize that there are many different ways in which we prepare for the life that God has in mind for us.  And I do believe God has something in mind for us.  I see Lent as a time for raising our consciousness---a time for becoming both intentional and using discipline.

As I look back over my life, there have been obvious times of preparation.  Every time that I went out for a team sport, there was a time to prepare.  If I made the team, I began by going to practice.  Day after day, I worked on the fundamentals.  I never saw practice as drudgery; I loved playing.

All of the foreign languages that I have learned involved times of preparation.  I had to learn new words---new ways to create sentences.  I had to get used to hearing different sounds.  But what a thrill, after I learned, to live life in a new and different way!

Both of these examples---playing sports and leaning a new language---involved times of preparation.  They are good examples to have a sense of what Lent is about.  Lent is like basketball practice or word drills in German.  Some of us might be disappointed that Lent only prepares us for the life that God has in mind.  We would rather skip Lent and go straight to life!  For most of us, this skip is not practical, and maybe not even possible.

If I do not choose Lent to prepare this space for God, I probably will fill my emptiness with other silly or meaningless things.  Lent is not the object.  God and the life that God has in mind are what I am choosing.

Often, when I want to choose the life that God has for me, I do not know what exactly I am choosing.   Lent is a spiritual discipline.  It is not egocentric.  Lent is that time to prepare for what God has in mind.  Lent is that time in which I prepare to give myself wholly over to God and the divine will.  Only then I can pray:  “Thy will be done.”

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