Shrove Tuesday is my favorite day in the Lenten Season. First, I get pancakes. Then, my day is filled with plans and good intentions for Lent. The sad part is the next day reality sets in with ashes and reminders of our mortality. Ash Wednesday is perhaps my least favorite day during Lent.
I read recently that Lent is an “annual reminder of our mortality.” The author didn’t consider that a good thing. I thought about it and decided this Lent I’d consider my mortality as a positive. To begin with, as far as I know, it beats the alternative, but more importantly I can think of at least forty reasons why being alive is an upper.
I don’t think God gives us the breath of life for us to focus on or fixate upon running out of oxygen. Lent reminds us to take a breath and go forward with service, sacrifice, study, and worship/prayer.
I think of Lent like spring football practice. We use these forty days to hone our basic skills, to determine what offense and defense we are going to run, and decide with whom we are going to play and work with during the season. Many a coach will tell you that championships are won in the spring. Lent is life’s spring. We use Lent to establish how we live out the rest of the year. It is not an exception, but the foundation.
Tomorrow, you will lay the cornerstone for the rest of your life. Make sure your tools are laid out and handy, but in the meantime enjoy the pancakes.