The Spiritual Opportunity of Lent
“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.” —Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent & Easter
My first introduction to the season of Lent came when several college classmates announced with exaggerated exasperation the acts of self-denial they were practicing for the season. I would learn later that they intended to use their time of sacrifice to experience renewal, restoration, and resurrection after their time of searching and preparation. Their negative disposition betrayed their intent. Perhaps we have been conditioned to believe that intentional time for introspection, self-reflection, self-examination, and honest self-assessment will turn up all of our dreadful failings and shortcomings. However, wilderness is not our destiny, and struggle is not our permanent condition. This is a season of opportunity to discover life-affirming and spirit-lifting approaches, attitudes, and dispositions that draw us nearer to the presence of God and closer to our truest identity as God’s beloved.
Holy One, be with me in the desert spaces and wilderness wanderings of this season and satisfy the deepest longings of my heart for renewal, restoration, and resurrection.