My Lenten Journey

Thinking back over the years I am amazed to see how God has used the season of Lent in my life, even though my observance of it has been mostly as a bystander:

  • I observed smudges on people’s foreheads, and in ignorance pointed them out! Oops. (They were merely Ash Wednesday ashes.)
  • I observed friends declaring what they were giving up for Lent. And felt a sense of secret chagrin that for that many weeks, I couldn’t share home-baked treats or lattes with them, not wanting to offend or tempt them.
  • I observed my own sense of self-righteousness, sometimes proclaiming almost proudly that I didn’t observe Lent. Didn’t need to.
  • I observed a personal lack of understanding of the biblical practice of fasting. I felt God challenge me to privately “give up” something as a reminder to pray for my friends during this season.
  • I observed God at work in my heart, asking me to be open to seeing things afresh, stripped of preconceived notions about how things should look.
  • I observed others observing Lent – not merely as a meaningless ritual or requirement for righteousness but as a season of letting go in order to grasp more tightly to things of God.
  • I observed a growing curiosity about this tradition that is not specifically mentioned in the Bible and yet contains so many biblical elements.

Lent for me has been a strange but beautiful journey over the past fourteen years, one I didn’t even realize I was on. But for these reasons and more, I’m excited to embrace it more fully this year, and all that God has to teach me through it.

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3 thoughts on “My Lenten Journey

  1. Thanks for sharing this Dianne. I’ve shared many of the steps along your journey and have personally experienced Lent going from a mysterious ritual that our church “just didn’t do” to something worthy of more thought and consideration.

  2. This is a thoughtful post.

    A Bible study leader recently suggested adding something for lent–not giving something up–and not doing it for 40 days but forever. For example–more time with God, encourage someone daily, etc etc. I thought it was pretty good stuff.

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