Really Giving up for Lent

And though the day started off alright, it was quite apparent that ego plans, organized calendars and thoughts… and perfect… would not have much say.

It began, right from the beginning.  The thanks for day He made; but then the grasping for the day I wanted, thought I was supposed to have.

It’s not that I wanted a bad thing, not that I was seeking some evil to pursue.

It’s just that, it was always there, right there with me, just like Paul said.

I had said, “okay, watch me be flexible!– watch me walk in grace through this day that throws out my plans!”  Then I scheme about how to really make it alright.

So the new plan was underway: the taxes, the tires, the truck, the exercise…at least I could do that…And just, please.. the Ash Wednesday service.  I need that.  I need it because I need every reminder I can get about Who He is and what He’s done and how I fit in it all. I need to learn and re-learn this ancient story, to get it into my very bones.  I need to know how to tell the world, how to serve and love. This mortality, This Grace.

One weird experience after another is how it was today.  The taxes were weird.  The truck search was dissatisfying.  The tires took way. too. long.

At the end, we were tired and hungry and 15 minutes from home and no Ash Wednesday service because the tires took so long.   And I’m wondering why we couldn’t make it.  Why the plans that we made instead of the plans we had didn’t add up to us making it.    And I’m wondering where the grace is when you don’t make it.

Now I remember, “weird” is just a feeling that happens when I forget Christ. is. with. me.  When I think I need a special service to have grace.  And if I forget that, then it feels like the twilight zone.  I tell my family I’m disappointed and sad that we wouldn’t make it in time, how I’m not sure why it happened and how I needed it.

I’m thinking God is saying something through this, too.

This God who isn’t silent.

God whose glory is absolutely incapable of being hidden or lost by missing the Ash Wednesday service or missing perfect.

I read about it on the computer, the symbolism of the Day. Ask Him to help me know what to give up for Lent, and I’m thinking He just wants me to give. up.  Give up fear of failure.  Give up fear of rejection.  Give up the need to be something I am not. again.  Give up the mask.  Give up every identity that is not immersed in Christ.  Give up anything I think saves me besides Christ.

And I ask Him what monumental, world -saving task to take on and it’s beginning to seem obvious.  Just the same as it was on Fat Tuesday or Labor Day or Halloween.  I’m thinking it’s Christ.  Allow myself, and my neighbor, all the grace we need– unashamedly–because believe this.. I. Need. Grace. Every. Day.  I need a Savior!  And of this I am not ashamed.  Because this… this is the one thing I am sure of.  That we are all short of glory and there is One, yes only One who can save us here and it is Christ! the Son of God!  Perfect!  And He is Here!   And I want to go out and shout it to everyone!  The Truth!  To call us all to joyfully abandon the notion and the burden that we have something to offer, or something to receive, outside the Grace that wrecks you for anything less, that God gives through His perfect Son, altogether Lovely– sinless perfect Love, without partiality, Jesus, to all who would receive.  This. This is my story. This is my song.  This I will tell the world.

And I turn off the computer and remember, smile defiantly at the impostor, and I feel it in my bones…

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3 thoughts on “Really Giving up for Lent

  1. you are an awesome writer. Blessed by your words this morning as I am each Sunday morning by your music, your prayers, your very being. Giving thanks this day for you, dear one!

    • Thank you, Jaymie. I, too, am so blessed by you and your family. The sincerity of your relationship with Christ shines through your actions and is felt even in just being around you. I’m thankful to have people like you in my life.

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