...lent begins.

i have friends who think it odd that i observe Lent, given that i no longer attend the catholic church, and haven't since i was a child. the reason behind it, has less to do with the fact that my early roots run deep, and more in an effort to get my heart ready for the easter celebration. as i see it, the observance of Lent is no different than that of Advent, in preparation for the arrival of the baby Jesus. it is preparing oneself, putting your heart in a place far from where you would normally let it roam, so that God can speak.

this year, my Lenten companion is a book entitled Small Surrenders: A Lenten Journey by Emilie Griffin. i haven't started reading it yet, so i cannot tell you much about it yet {the readings begin tomorrow, Ash Wednesday}, but i can share what is written on the inside cover...
We are converted not only once in our lives but many times, and the conversion is little by little and often imperceptible. But Lent gives us a time to move the process along, intentionally, by a series of small surrenders. When we choose some exercise for Lent—daily worship, daily prayer, abstinence from one thing or another—it is not much the practice that transforms us, but it is our willingness to change. | Emilie Griffin
so, i am looking forward to this season, and to what i will learn through it. will there be moments when i wished i wouldn't have taken this course? i have no doubt. even this morning, as i was thinking through what i would give up, i had the thought that something might be a bit excessive... but isn't that kind of the point?

i wonder if God ever thought that sending Jesus to die was a bit excessive. how grateful we all should be that even if the thought crossed his mind, he didn't listen to it.


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