Here I am eight days into Lent, continuing to struggle to give up guilt (those gut wrenching flashbacks require constant vigilance), fear, need to please, and envy. Eight days and so many more to go. Why continue on the list of 20 supplied by Pastor Phil? Because these eight have exposed only the tip of an iceberg that keeps me from fullness with Christ. I doubt anyone looks at these internal monsters as sacrifices, but indeed whether I cling to them or they cling to me, they interfere with my relationship with Jesus. If I allow them to continue to hold me captive, I deny the full power of the Cross. I allow them to replace Jesus in my life.
So on this eighth day of Lent, I continue on my journey by giving up that incredibly difficult companion and time waster IMPATIENCE. If I spent the time I waste complaining about being stuck in traffic or in the line at the grocery store where the cashier has to do a price check and cannot reach anyone in that department, if I spent that time connecting with Jesus, praying or lifting the spirits of those others stuck in line with me…If I chose to honor Christ by not letting my thoughts turn stormy when I am delayed by weather. If I chose to allow God’s action to take place rather than plowing into the waiting room of life like a Momma Elephant in charge mode, as in taking “charge” of things left best to God’s timing.
He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy. Even youths get tired and weary; even strong young men clumsily stumble. But those who wait for the Lord ’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired. (Isaiah 40:29-31 NET
If I choose patience, not toe tapping, eyes rolling, horn blowing impatience, I choose to allow God’s perfect timing. I choose joy in the midst of circumstances I may not understand; I choose waiting with faith in the Christ who always is waiting for me to catch up and catch on to what living a life in Christ really means. He wants to take off my fake chicken wings and exchange them for the wings of eagles…He wants to teach me to fly not to squawk and scratch. If….Imagine all God could do in my life…or in yours.
“Yet whatever else it may be, Lent should never be morose – an annual ordeal during which we begrudgingly forgo a handful of pleasures. Instead, we ought to approach Lent as an opportunity, not a requirement. After all, it is meant to be the church’s springtime, a time when, out of the darkness of sin’s winter, a repentant, empowered people emerges.”
– the editors of Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter