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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lenten thoughts

Yesterday, I posted a TT on Lent. Mostly because it was timely, but also because it's on my mind a lot. Our church is doing something called Project Forty in celebration of the Lenten season. I admit, I worked the night they launched it. In case you've been on the moon the past few weeks, this is the peak of tax season for me. I haven't had a day off in almost three weeks, and I've been pulling 40+ hour weeks. And that's just at the tax job. Some part time job, eh? Ah well, it's only a few weeks a year.

Anyway... I'm digressing. I do that a lot. Particularly when sleep deprived.

I've been in this frame of mind for a while now, beginning with the New Year. Everyone makes resolutions that statistics show end up being broken within a matter of weeks. I decided I didn't want to make any resolutions, but I did want to grow. I just didn't know what that meant for me.

Then, I saw a program on TV about the end of the world. Not that I believe in all these theories or anything, but I found myself asking, "what if?" What if the world did end when all these prophecies say it will? 12/21/12 (the latest doomsday) isn't all that far away. If the world ended on that day, am I okay with how I've lived my life? Can I face that end with confidence?

Now, I'm not talking about salvation here. I'm talking about my own integrity as a human being and follower of Christ. Have I lived my life in such a way that I can stand in front of God knowing that I made the most of the life I was given? Do I have regrets? Are they things I can do differently now?

So there I was, at Lent, and I started researching Lent to have something clever to post on TT other than how exhausted I am. What struck me the most was reading about Ash Wednesday, and how the ashes represent the sin and fallen condition of man. In Biblical times, people covered themselves in ashes when they fell into a deep state of sorrow for their transgressions. I did not attend a service or have ashes placed on my forehead. And yet, I feel the deep sorrow of knowing my sins. And hungrily desiring to be better.

Like with New Year's, I'm not focusing my Lenten season on some grand "giving up" or "adding a discipline." If that's your thing, that's great. But to me, there's something empty about having a little list to check off. I'm hungering for deep, spiritual fulfillment. I don't want to spend forty days doing something just to do it. I want to come through this season changed for the better. More importantly, I don't want it to end with the celebration of Our Savior's resurrection. I want to continually grow in who I am in Christ. I want to live my life mindful of the fact that not one of us knows the day or hour, and that when my hour comes, I want to be able to stand in front of the Lord unashamed.


Robbie Iobst said...

Danica, I read your post and I thought about the joy I get as a mom when Noah has that desire to do right or be the best he can be. I'd love him even if he didn't, but it gives me a smile when he does. Isn't that like our Father? God is looking at your heart Danica and smiling...

Danica Favorite said...

Thanks Robbie... I feel the same way about my kiddos. What a great picture.