Lent began during the great winter storm. I almost missed it, that Ash Wednesday had arrived and the season had begun. That’s an embarrassing thing as a minister! If you traditionally believed that Lent was a time of giving things up, well, most of us involuntarily gave up heat and/or water! Seriously, that’s what I was taught: that somehow depriving ourselves of something we loved during Lent made us holier, closer to God, and guaranteed that we would better understand spiritual sacrifice.
But I will say to you, probably many times before Easter, that Lent can take on a different dimension if we consider it a time of letting go. Yes, it is a surrender of sorts---giving ourselves over to the natural ebb and flow of life and its eternal nature of change. This can be a time of liberation. We are always “shedding” that which has outlived its time with us, whether it is a tired idea, an unhealthy habit, or the putting off of an unwanted task. Our hope lies in knowing that everything that we relinquish is replaced by something new and fresh that enriches us. This is also the essence and purpose of denials and affirmations. We deny that the old has any power over us, even as we embrace that which takes its place. For example, we can give up fear and embrace courage. We can give up any idea of powerlessness and embrace our true resilience and tenacity. Remember, however, that this process is not of our own will. Rather, it is a product of divinely inspired intention and the divine power with which to transform. So let this be a time of reflection and quiet listening. Your soul knows exactly what it needs to flourish. And you will be ready to take on that which is next, with grace and faith.
I journey with you this season, my friends. I can’t wait to hear your stories at Easter, when we celebrate another turning of the year, another reason to rejoice.
Much love and many blessings,