In his fun, funny, and pointedly sharp reflection on Lent, Eugene Cho asks the following questions. I love the poignancy of the entire post (read it it’s good, and then read his entire blog – also very good!!!) and that he makes me think. What follows are the outcome of my own wrestling and processing all that’s taking place this Lent season.
For me, I don’t want to think of it as a giving up but rather a season of more deeply ‘giving in’ or ‘giving to’…
In what way of am I more compelled to give in to the ways of God?
As I focus on worrying less, not letting myself “go there” and stopping myself when waves of anxiety roll in, I’m noticing a few things bubbling up and over the surface. Joy, freedom and peace. There is so much more space for freedom, peace of mind and spontaneous joy when one isn’t constantly absorbed in the “what ifs” and the “if onlys”. I find this absolutely fascinating! (And freeing – so freeing that I kind of wish I could pull out the move from the photo!) But I’m also realizing that this isn’t just a one time thing and then I’ll kick that anxiety habit in the bud. I sense this is “my issue” so to speak. Something that’s been present since childhood and likely won’t disappear after one profound experience of Lent. I’ll have to be mindful of letting go, letting go, and letting go again. It is a discipline I need to develop in my life regularly – once the boundaries of Lent are gone.
How am I more deeply giving in and giving to – to my neighbors, wife, children, church, strangers, etc?
I’ve only just noticed this on a few occasions in the past week. That I’m less likely to count score with Steve. Less likely to keep tabs on how many times I’ve watched Aya while he goes and does this and that. More thrilled that he has opportunities to do the things he loves. And I’m also more open to spending time doing things that energize me outside of my own family and work, trusting that Steve will graciously care for our daughter in my absence. I sure hope this isn’t a phase, but is a mentality I can continue much longer after Lent.
How am I more deeply giving or growing in stewardship, generosity, my convictions, etc?
An awareness is certainly growing within me that I am not likely to spend money on others. I’m not particularly generous. And I am vehemently self-centred. I really want to grow in this space – putting others first.
How am I more giving in to the Ways of Christ? How am I more giving in to Mercy, Justice, and Humility?
I have been mulling and mulling and mulling over this. And I’m beginning to think that justice begins with staring fear head on. (Fear of being different, speaking out, life, etc.) Just a few thoughts that are very preliminary at this stage…and will probably require a blog post in the future!