Oh gosh, y'all.
I seriously have tried crafting this post no less than a dozen times in my mind the past few weeks. It occurs to me that I am totally over-thinking this. Brevity has never been my friend, but for this post, I am going to really try.
At the beginning of the month, Jenn at Conversion Diary mentioned that for the past two years, she has closed comments and stats during Lent. I can always tell when the Lord is going to urge me to do something that is completely not my idea because it starts with me thinking, "Oh, what a neat idea! Definitely not for me, but a neat idea nonetheless. Well, good for them." Something along those lines. And that was precisely my response when I read that in Jenn's post that day.
This is nearly always followed by God dropping "Have you considered maybe . . . ? Don't you think you should . . . ?" kinds of questions into my thought life. And He persistently just wears me down on the matter until I go from "Oh, I could never" to "Oh, I guess I am going to."
I wish I could say with complete sincerity that I had no idea why God was leading me in this direction, but I know exactly why. In short, my own words accuse me of the exact thing I struggled with last summer - a growing dependence on the applause of man, an unhealthy need to make a name for myself, and a shocking amount of mindlessness and disconnect for the glorious moments of day-to-day life.
So I am doing it, though it terrifies me. I'm closing comments on all posts except for our As He Leads Us Monday discussions. I am yielding up the Sitemeter and turning over the daily hits to the Lord. There is something else I am adding to my life this Lenten season, but that matter is a personal one, so I'll keep it to myself.
Lent teaches us to fess up to how often we settle down in the land of our exile as though it were our true home; attempting to still the yearning the Spirit has created by throwing at it physical or psychological pleasure, and how it never works.
If we don’t spend Lent working on removing some of the barriers we’ve erected that keep us from Christ, it's going to be tougher to really dislodge the stone from the tomb on Easter.
I know fasting in the Lenten season isn't sacrifice just for the sake of sacrifice; I think, among other things, it's a time of purification and refocusing and cleansing. I want to - I need to - be purified and cleansed of my addiction to the praise of man. It is for freedom then that we have been set free (Galatians 5:1), and the glory of Easter is the reality of the freedom we find in Christ. I want to dwell in that for the next forty days, seeking Christ beyond anything else in my life.
So much for brevity. This still feels disjointed and all over the place and clearly there is much still working through my mind about Lent and sacrifice and liturgy and denominationalism and so much more. But this is a good start, I think.
(And to the three or four of you who landed here last night after Googling something along the lines of "Southern Baptist and Lent," hello! I hope you came back today. And yes, I think we SBCers can - should? - purpose to pursue that which may feel a bit uncomfortable yet promises rich reward in knowing Him better, however unfamiliar it might be.)
Blessings on each of you this Lenten season.