It’s officially Lent today.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to jump in with both feet to things like Lent. I make all sorts of plans as to how I can better myself and my relationship to God all at the same time.
This year is no exception. I came up with my annual laundry list of to-dos to make this particular Lent… I don’t know… more effective, maybe?
But the truth is, I can’t even physically do all the things on my list. There is not enough time in the day or energy in my body.
And actually that’s a good thing, isn’t it?
Lent isn’t really about all the things I can check off the “Make Gretchen and God besties” list.
Truth be told, that list has always been more about me than it is about God.
So what if this time, I threw out the list or at least threw out the obligation to the list and instead entered Lent a bit more quietly… a bit more slowly… listening more than speaking… reflecting more than acting?
What if I took these words of John O’Donohue to heart:
“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”
I’m sitting here this morning trying my best to imagine just that.
What would it actually look like if I entered today slowly with an open and generous heart ready for the promises of a Lord who loved me enough to give everything?
What if I slowed down just enough to let my light gain all the power it needs to shine brighter than the sun?
What if you did?
How marvelous this Lent could be!