Dear Friends of Second Church,
I hope you are continuing courageously on your Lenten journey.
To be honest, my own remains challenging, a combination of giving things up and taking others on this year.
I am trying to start some new habits around diet and exercise, and, wow…it is not easy. Those of you who love the feel of a good workout—bless you. But I am not there yet.
Maybe it seems strange to see “wellness” as a spiritual challenge, appropriate for Lent, but that’s how I’m finding it. Don’t get me wrong: I am all for wellness. But it’s challenging to admit that wellness doesn’t come in the terms I prefer, that life doesn’t necessarily respond to my gestures of bargain (“Isn’t it enough just to skip sour cream on the burrito?” being one of them), that progress is so very gradual.
Really, can’t I just read a few books about healthy lifestyles and be done with it? How do you say “wellness” in Greek?
That’s why Lent is so important—it reminds us that, for all our gifts, for all the freedom we have to shape so much about our worlds, there are still terms within which we must live, and which we do not decide. Lent shows our us our bargains, and our shortcuts, and our great need to seek courage for the task of living from something greater than ourselves and our own willpower. It asks us to name not only our creature comforts and petty indulgences, but also our false gods, who let us pretend we can have life on terms that require less of us.
Lent points to God as something more than a fine idea to be mulled over — that God is a living force who loves us far too much to leave us where we are, and who will push us to move forward, even if we don’t much feel like going.
Where is it that you are having trouble going? The gym? The office? The doctor? Or to some particular emotional or spiritual place within?
This Lent, if you listen, perhaps you’ll hear God calling you to start moving in that direction. My hope is that as I do, I will find Him there….and that you will, too.
See you in church,