[Jesus] said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
It's not often that we take stock of our lives and our selves. Some of us do so at the beginning of the year, as we are scouring around for a New Year’s Resolution. At the same time, some of the great insights about our lives occur when life we face the gravest of challenges: a health crisis, or the loss of one’s livelihood or home, or the death of a beloved family member, spouse, or friend. Often, the resolution is driven by our need for results- perhaps we would like to lose weight, or clean out the garage, or take up a hobby or activity. The review of our lives in a time of tragedy is far more likely to be a thorough one, prompted, as it were by the great existential questions.
Lent invites us to visit the place of deeper questions, to take an honest look at who we are and who God is calling us to be. We are invited to do this whether we are joyful or sorrowful, indifferent or deeply passionate. We are invited to visit – to operate from—that deep place within each of us where we grieve, hold secrets, and from which we love.
In that place, we discover the spiritual tasks we have been avoiding, the places where we need to rest, or conversely, where we need to get active.
Perhaps Lent is the perfect time to ask God for courage to face the hidden places of our lives. We might also ask the Holy Spirit to comfort and heal those places where we are wounded.
- The Rev. Yejide S. Peters