I’ve tried to think of examples to help you visualize how to approach Lent.
Few of you can identify with Spring Football Practice and Two-A-Days. But for the few of you who have participated in these rituals, you know that the outcome of a team’s season is not won in the fall, but in what you put into and get out of spring football practice and two-a-day practices in August. You practice fundamentals, such as blocking and tackling, you build up your body in the weight room and running sprints and stadium steps, you becoming mentally focused learning the basics of your offense or defense so adjustments made in the fall to a specific opponent aren’t new or confusing, and you develop a team spirit that carries you forward as a team in the tough times during the fall. Lent is similar. Your Lenten discipline of prayer, fasting, meditation, and worship fine tune you for the service and the call that lies ahead beginning on Easter.
Although, I have never attended a spa in the desert, I’ve always wanted to attend. More people, certainly people more my age, can probably identify with thinking of Lent as attending a desert spa. I read and talked with people who go, and I understand you spend one’s time purifying your body, meditating, praying, and exploring your mind and your soul. If it helps, think of Lent as your forty days at Canyon Ranch, but whatever mind game you play, don’t lose sight of the end game — preparing your heart, your mind, your body, your soul for the call that awaits at the end of Lenten season.
Lent is about preparation. Jesus to begin his ministry prepared himself by going to the wilderness for forty days. Each of us is about to embark on a similar preparation. If you know where you want to go come Easter, fine tune your preparation toward that end. But if you are like most — your call is out there, but unknown – your preparation will become a window from which you will see where you need to go. In a way Lent is its own journey.
I hope you are as excited about Lent as I am this year. Enjoy these last days and especially Shrove Tuesday. Lent is almost here.
Thank you for reading the Pew! My soon to be released novel, When Men Betray is available for preorder at this link.