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Friday, February 19, 2010
Give God your Forty Days
Seasons come and go.
Today I find myself in a season which is requiring trust and acceptance. I was not raised in a church which recognized the church calendar. As a child we recognized Palm Sunday, Easter and Christmas—with communion thrown in every six weeks.
As an adult I have found comfort, nourishment and grounding in the Episcopal Church. The ritual, the repetition, and the seasons of the year ring true in my inner spiritual self.
I do not believe in coincidence nor do I think my challenging season of trust and acceptance coinciding with Lent is by chance. Lent is the period of 40 days which begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Easter. It is a time of personal examination and collective transformation through spiritual practices such as prayer, self-examination, study, personal retreat, and fasting. Lent is a contemplative time built in to the church calendar. A season of reflection designed for personal change. On Ash Wednesday I received a Lenten Journal. This week’s reflections remind me:
“It rained for forty days and forty nights as Noah waited out the flood, trusting in Gods’ word.
Moses was on the mountain with God for forty days, returning with the Law and the reminder of gratitude for all that God provided.
Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness, and facing Satan with faith and knowledge to worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.
As we enter this season of Lent, our forty days, we have the opportunity to intentionally choose to stand against that to which we are tempted, against that to which we place our false faith, against that to which distracts us from our efforts to serve God.
Consider devoting this Lenten season, your forty days, not to resisting temptations created by denial, but to trusting and thanking God. Trust God and thank God by serving Him as he serves you: unannounced and unconditionally.”
This Lenten season I hope to keep walking forward--head up, eyes open, heart receiving. I hope to choose gratitude over pity, kindness over spite, and trust over cynicism. I hope to fast from negative thoughts which do not serve me, others, or God and hold every thought captive to Christ. I hope to give Him my forty days.