Greetings brothers and sisters!
People typically think that the season of Lent centers on “giving something up” as a spiritual discipline, and that can be a helpful and powerful way to experience Lent. Although—I’m not sure that giving up chocolate accomplishes much—just a side note. The practice of giving up something comes from the medieval church; it has a penitent flavor about it. Penitent means a feeling or a showing of sorrow and regret for having done wrong; this is what Lent focuses on. It’s a reconnection with God and a slowing down.
When I entered the United Methodist faith tradition I learned about another way “to do” Lent! I heard preachers note that a focal point Christ followers should also draw on is “making more space and room” for God in our lives. And it’s this space and room that can truly give us the “rest” we need in Christ. Quoting from Matthew 11:28, “Come to me all you who are weary and carrying burdens, I will give you rest.”
We can make ourselves be so very busy. We neglect prayer and reading the gospel accounts of what happened leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection. Maybe we feel too much pressure to be everything to everyone. We have a list to plan the Easter meal, put up an “Easter Egg Tree,” buy that perfect Easter dress and hat, and send out invitations to the family and friends. We might be so busy we totally forget about the Lent season.
“In this 21st century world many of us have come to believe, however subconsciously, that being “busy” is what is required of us and ultimately what makes us a good person. But perhaps we’ve forgotten that God isn’t looking for humans to “perform” as if we must earn God’s love (or anyone’s love) through succumbing to a faster pace for more productivity in order to be “worthy.” Fact is, we’ve already been made worthy because of the work of Christ!
How can we be “simply and honestly” present in this Lent season? We can begin by repenting or “turning around” from unrealistic expectations and false beliefs.” (Taken from Dr. Marcia McFee’s “Reconnecting With An Unhurried God”)
Have you thought about what it costs your family to be so busy? There’s a wage for everything in life that can affect us positively and negatively. Our goal as a Christ follower is to not only believe in God, but to also allow our daily routine and interactions to evidence that belief. It’s about reconnecting with God and doing our best to stay connected. Christ was never in a hurry to do anything! We serve an “unhurried God.”
Let’s purpose to slow down during the season of Lent. Let’s draw closer to God. Let’s reconnect.
Peace and grace!