Lent, So Far

Monday, March 10, 2014

Whenever I walk into church and there are little index cards on the chairs, I get a hot feeling on the back of my neck. Like, "Oh, Lord. We are going to be asked to share something. Oh, gracious. . . " Which is terrible, because I've dutifully written burdens and prayers all over index cards, placed them in the offering basket or pinned them to the cross, and felt remarkable relief as I walked away. The physical act of literally handing something over to God is helpful. I completely admit that. 

But I still get snarky when I see the cards.

So anyway, there were cards today, but this time we got to keep them. Here were the instructions: At the top, write "Dear God." At the bottom, write "All this I give to you." In the middle, write down the things that separate you from God, the things that keep you from growing closer to Him. Sit quietly, think about this for a few minutes. 

I thought of the many distractions in my life. The things that capture my attention and make my head swivel this way and that. The tendency to compare myself to others, the worldly pursuits, the keeping up, and the rushing. The time wasters. I imagined myself on a path. The distractions keep me from watching my feet or looking ahead. Distractions . . . that's what I'd like to eliminate for Lent.
The word for sin in the Greek New Testament is hamartia. It means to miss the mark or to stray from a path . . . Lent is a chance to acknowledge that we have strayed from the path and want to return to the path once more. The Way, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus by Adam Hamilton
When the offering plate started around, I almost wanted to deposit my card. "Ah, yes. I thought about it and now I can let it go. Off with you, distractions. On to the next thing." Except that's kind of the whole point. Lent isn't a distraction. Lent isn't a check in/check out kind of deal. It's contemplation and preparation for the cross. It's long term. It's where I need to be. I need to think on it longer, and stay focused, and see where I am on the path.

So, I've got my card. And I'm working on distractions.
How is Lent going for you, so far?

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One Response to “Lent, So Far”

  1. Courtney, I love this. Thanks for sharing this beautiful idea.