Come on, Lent
I love Instagram. It’s embarrassing to say that because I want you to think I’m cool.
To be cool you can’t be too attached to anything other people are attached to, right? What vanity, Sara. Anyway, I’ve always nerded out about the things I enjoy, so why stop now?
Sure, someday Instagram will be the new, un-cool MySpace, but for now, I love it. I’ve followed some amazing, creative, honest, sweet people through their big life changes. I’ve participated in some way in their day-to-day sagas. I love seeing everyone’s babies and gardens and projects grow and documenting my own. I’ve learned so much about motherhood, parenting, beauty, and grief through that never-ending flow of photos. I have seen the world and glimpsed some truth there. As far as my own output goes, I’ve been able to leave a breadcrumb of milestones behind me in pictures and captions. I have savored its ability to be a micro-blog when writing a full post is too big a task.
That said, it appears that my favorite season of all has snuck up on me, the season of Lent, a time of quiet reflection, prayer, and meditative sacrifice. Easter is so early this year! I can’t believe Ash Wednesday was yesterday.
It’s a weird season to love, but every year I look forward to it more–and the more I know myself, the more this doesn’t surprise me. I’m serious or silly (see below), not much in between. Some of the best moments of my life that I can remember have been times alone with the Lord arrested by His truth, or locked in good, real conversation with one or two other people. I like to get to the heart of things. I’m a feeler who tries to be a thinker. I feel everything so much. Lent can be a beautiful time for getting to the heart of things with Jesus, in remembrance of his time of prayer and fasting in the desert.
I’m not sure how best to observe the season this year. Remember giving up chocolate and candy as a kid? Those moments were sweet Lenten training wheels that teach us slowly, slowly the joy that is found in self-denial.
I don’t want to just give something up for the sake of religious tradition. How shall I best make room for Jesus in my life? That is my question. How can I create a little quiet so that I can hear him? How can I disrupt my own comfort so that I can meditate on His sacrifice and be more willing to intercede for others?
I don’t know yet. I’ve got some thinking to do.
Last year, I began the lenten season by just committing to daily walks in the effort to create some space for listening to God and praying. Then, along dusty, desert trails on gray days with my baby strapped to my chest and Huxtable trotting ahead, He began to convict me to reign in needless spending, less Starbucks it seemed. Weeks later, after being faithful to Him in that and marveling at how needless most of my spending was, Jesus cracked my world wide open and began to teach me about contentment. My life was changed. It is changed still
What do you have for me this year, Lord? In an effort to be less distracted, I’m ducking out of social media for now, but that’s not it. That’s not the real sacrifice, but maybe that’s where it will begin. He is too great, too wise for me to predict where we’ll travel together. I only hope that He really will, in His grace, take me on a journey to the heart of things.
I’ll be here writing and would love to hear your voice on the telephone, in a letter, a text, or over coffee. Or seriously, just send me all the Bitmojis! I still think they are the most fun.