contributed by Elli
As always, I gave up sweets for Lent this year.
Only I forgot and ate a fortune cookie...And made apple crumble with brown sugar.
Three days into Lent.
I'm actually quite happy. It made me think.
I'm not satisfied with the, "give something up, take something on" approach to Lent. Does the why and what for ever get asked? Not the, "to be healthier, to spend less" but the real why?
Every year I've tried to give up sweets or sugar for Lent. I always fail, and so, feeling bad, quit Lent. Which may seem ridiculous, but it is the truth. I just stop thinking about it all together. Once I’ve failed at being perfect, I dismiss the whole thing as “not that important”. I’ll do something else, I think to myself. I've been going through Lent like I go through life; subconsciously trying to be perfect, focusing on sticking to my resolutions (which doesn't happen), forgetting that I CANNOT BE PERFECT? Which is why we NEED Christ, and what this whole season is about?!
My advent was beautiful. It was rich; it had depth meaning and many conversations with God. Because of that, my Christmas was powerful. I'm really thinking my Lent should be the same. Different revelations; different lessons...Like that one about grace I keep forgetting.
The cross and all it stands for often escapes me. I don’t contemplate it near enough. There will be brief moments, but they are few and far between. I think it makes me uncomfortable. All that grace, all the selflessness and sacrifice. I wonder if I’m ready. In the cross is my wholeness, freedom, connection...and it stands there so patiently (which it certainly doesn't have to do) quietly (which it really doesn't have to do) and with the most graceful and gentle invitation.
My Lent this year isn't going to be 40 days of trying to be perfect. Maybe the exact opposite: realizing and admitting to all my broken and grungy places- and inviting Jesus there.
Maybe I'll start with my super huge sweet tooth ;)