Lent is for Life

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One of my colleagues brought this image to my attention recently, and it made me smile.  But it also made me think.  Because, while my first instinct is always to chuckle and nod in that, “oh-yes-I’m-so-wise-of-course-I-know-that!” sort of way, the truth is, I need reminders like this.  It is all too easy for me to fall into habits and do things without thinking.  Now, the question really is, what are the things I am doing without thinking?  Putting chocolate in my mouth mindlessly, barely even tasting it?  Passing the homeless man along side my car as I wait at the light after a trip to Target without even seeing him?  Glazing over as familiar scriptures are read during the Sundays of Lent?  There are GOOD things to do without thinking too: I automatically bend to comfort my daughter who has just hurt herself, even though we’re trying to get out the door.  I clear my place at the table and load plates into the dishwasher while carrying on a conversation.  Habits themselves are powerful, but I have to be careful to tend those habits in a mindful way.  And that, for me, is one of the gifts of Lent.   I need an annual season of reflection, and time to intentionally “lean in” to the reality of my need for God.  While it can easily just be about chocolate, if I let it, it will  disturb the still waters of my life and invite me to go below the surface.

If Lent is for Life, what realities about your life are you being invited into this year, as the season draws to a close?  What is this chapter in the story God is writing with your life?

Caren Swanson

image by flickr user LivingOS via Creative Commons

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