Giving Up Clarity for Lent   6 comments

I grew up the son of a preacher.  We went to Sunday school, Sunday morning service, Sunday evening service, and Wednesday prayer meeting.  We had daily family devotions with Bibles and hymn books, and all six kids, without exception,  prayed out loud.  But we looked on liturgy with suspicion.  A real relationship with God was spontaneous, not circumscribed by rituals like all those unsaved Roman Catholics.  I never even heard of Lent until I was an adult, but we lived Lent all year long–self-examination, repentance, discipline, sacrifice.  The problem is that we never got out of Lent.

boy in pew

By the time I discovered grace, I had enough Lent practice behind me to cover several lives over.  Last year was my first participation in Lent, and I approached it with the eyes of grace–to bless my soul by releasing it from some burden that weighed it down, to sacrifice a problem not a pleasure.  I decided to sacrifice busyness and embrace rest.  It was so good for my heart, that after 40 days I made it my spiritual emphasis for the year.  I have planned another year-long Lenten emphasis for 2013–sacrificing my need to figure things out (and so a reliance on my acuity), in other words, I am embracing ignorance.

confusion sign

I did not come to this point willingly.  I begged and pleaded for insight, thought myself into and out of a thousand speculations, tried to pry the lid off that sealed box of truth, and finally gave up.  Learning to trust God with a confused mind is a bit crazy and doesn’t feel very safe.  I was just now reminded that learning to trust God last year was pretty tough too–expecting more from doing less?  That doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense either.  I don’t know if my brain needs a break, but I’m pretty sure my reliance on it is false security.  I have enough faith to take this path, I need more faith if I am to find peace along this way instead of turmoil and fear.

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Posted February 12, 2013 by janathangrace in Personal

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6 responses to “Giving Up Clarity for Lent

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  1. “I have enough faith to take this path” … sometimes it’s all we have,… but in the end: it’s always what we need, isn’t it?
    thanks for your inspiring thoughts, Kent! God is using you.

  2. “…sacrifice a problem, not a pleasure…”
    I think some people might really benefit from being intentional about sacrificing things they like… especially if their main life experience is with things they like. But for so many people, learning to give up the ways we punish ourselves would really bring us so much closer to genuine gratitude for living.

  3. I love how gentle and grace-filled this is! I’m working so hard on trying to stop “figuring things out”. Maybe making a conscious 40-day practice of it would make it seem less insurmountable. Thank you for this idea 🙂

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