Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent - The Growing Season

As I listened to my children ponder this morning what they would be "giving up" this Lenten season, I was whisked back to the days of my youth, when I'd wonder and worry if I could really give up chocolate, or gum, or dessert all the way until Easter.  Usually, I'd opt to "set myself up for success" by choosing the easiest of the three, and sadly, even then I would often fall.  I would forget my personal sacrifice--sometimes honestly and sometimes conveniently--or, if it appeared that no one else was really watching or cared, I may even give up all together.  I mean, if no one was watching or paying attention, then what was the point?

Funny how time (a.k.a. aging) can change our perspective.  In my youth, that "someone" I thought wasn't watching would have been my parents, a Sunday school teacher, or maybe a more pious and devout friend.  (It seems there were a few testy and turbulent teenage years there where I *may* have completely disregarded this whole tradition of self-sacrifice, but I can't say for sure as those memories are rather sketchy --yet another convenient forgetfulness!).  

Later, when I became a parent myself, I grew to realize that I was now being looked to as that set of eyes for (by) my children.   I also began to really want to understand who the Someone is that is watching me now, and why it matters what we do even if we think no one is watching us at all.  The short answer is because in the end, the One who was watching me all the time was me

Or, as Richard Rohr so brilliantly states, "Your image of God creates you."  In other words, if your God is uncaring this Lenten season and wants to "give you a pass" from this trial, then I suggest you go look in the mirror and ask yourself who really doesn't want you to change!

This is a season where collectively we go into the desert.  But of course everyone's desert is different, and so ultimately we end up alone calling out our personal demons, and enduring them one by one.   Sounds like great fun, doesn't it??  However, we must remember that we are also here to serve one another, and so we really aren't alone:  for just as angels came to the desert and attended to Jesus, so can we attend to each other, even though our journeys are our own. 

Like I said, funny how time can change our perspective.  In my youth I would enter this Lenten Season with worry and a rather unwilling spirit. Now I enter willingly into what for me is no longer so much a desert season (though there are certainly plenty of "prickly" parts to it!)  but a growing season.  After all, what are our "ashes" for if not to fertilize new life?

I, for one, relish this opportunity. After all, just as the ashes remind us today that "you are from dust and to dust you shall return," so it is true that with our first step into the desert --even a trepidatious and skeptical one--our own personal resurrection has already been fulfilled.  

Let the growing begin!


  1. Great post, Lisa....and I had to chuckle when reading how you viewed and went about your Lenten journey as a was just the same for me! I love how things change as we get older and am SO very glad that some things do!

    (an aside....I never knew you were on blogger! Welcome and I look forward to reading more...just one more distraction from updating my own blog ;).

  2. Thanks, Angie! I've been "on" blogger mostly as a "peep" until now. I had tried another blog lauch awhile back, but never shared it as I was still "finding my voice." This one I decided to put out there right away so that I couldn't chicken out! Thanks for the support and I hope we get to cross paths again sometime soon!

  3. Beautiful. That's all. :)
    (And I haven't gotten up the guts to go public, yet, either :) )

  4. Thank you SO much, Faith. From a gifted writer (and friend) like you that means a lot! And...perhaps to get you to launch publicly we need to create a blog challenge?! ;)

  5. Simply awesome! I will look forward to following this during my growing season as well!