“For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them.”
― John Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted”
Ash Wednesday, March 6, is the beginning of the time of the year we refer to as Lent. Part of what I like about the season of Lent is that it gives us pause to reflect upon the direction that we are going in our personal lives. Our world views and habits are challenged. We ask questions of ourselves. When we are honest, we ask the hard questions of faith and responsibility, of discipleship and faithfulness.
How is it with my soul, really?
Am I growing in love for God and for others?
Does God have a different agenda, than my own?
Am I following Jesus, or am I asking Jesus to follow me?
How can I use the gifts and talents God had given me to make this world a better place?
Does my prayer life need a make-over?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer says of prayer, “Christianity lives and dies with prayer, for prayer is the heart of the Christian life.” I like the way Martin Luther puts it, “As a shoemaker makes shoes and a tailor makes clothes, a Christian must pray . . . praying is not just a bidding, nor is it just giving thanks . . . Praying means coming close to God, because God has come close to us.”
The gift of Lent is that it reminds us to take stock of our lives. Lent provides time for a spiritual checkup. We remember our heritage. For a few weeks, it calls us to pause our busy minds to rest in God’s presence and dwell in God’s peace.