Yet another Lenten season is upon us. Last night one of my congregants remarked that every year he comes back to the same question: "What is Lent all about?" He also said that in previous years there have been times when he felt like he "got it," but it seems like a new challenge every year.
True enough! Each Lenten season brings its own unique 'wilderness' experience; primarily because (in theory), we are not in the same place we were last year. In fact, if we have been journeying with God for 12 months, (or 12 minutes) we are undoubtedly changed in some way on the inside. And since I am not the same as I was last year, how can I expect the Spirit that lives in me to allow a mere repeat of a previous experience? And, if this journey is to last the rest of my life, should I not expect to grow in new ways each season?
So for this year, in an effort to allow the Spirit to move in my life, I am going to try something new. Instead of giving up something for lent, or denying myself the things that I believe keep me from experiencing God, I am going to explore the idea/concept, of a clean heart. In other words, what would it mean for me to drop my expectations and desires of who and what I want God to be, and just let God be God? What if I went into lent this year with the belief that wherever God is calling me, or in whatever "wilderness" I find myself, whatever God is leading me to do- that I trust that it is the Spirit that put me there... and that She has, and will have my back?
Yet in order to do that, I have to be willing to embrace the truth; that God truly is powerful enough to have cleansed me of anything that I would use an an excuse to keep the Spirit captive within my brain space. I would normally think of this as my 'giving permission' for the Spirit to move- but that still keeps things under my control. Instead, I am going to try a paradigm shift. I am going to try to adopt the notion that the Spirit of God is truly bigger than my willingness (or lack thereof) to accept or reject Her.
God help me... I can't wait to see 'what Lent is all about' this year!