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Sliding over into the passenger seat and letting God drive.
March 1, 2021
Lent means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To some, it means “giving up” something…Usually something a person is pretty attached to….Like chocolate or red meat or all meat…
Sometimes it doesn’t involve “giving up” something, but rather “taking on something new” – Usually it involves a ‘discipline” for the 40 days of Lent…Like physical exercise, prayer, meditation, letting other cars cut in line…
Sometimes it’s a focus, like intentionally looking through a specific lens. Like examining my life. Asking questions like, “So…how’s it going?” Are you happy? Are you dissatisfied with something in your life? Are there changes you need to make, maybe one’s you’ve been trying your hardest to ignore…
“Repentance” is a word often associated with Lent. For some people that conjures up images of looking at our lives through the lens of judgment. Generally speaking, if we’re REALLY honest, we all tend to judge ourselves much more harshly than anyone else would judge us…maybe even God doesn’t judge us that harshly.
Actually, the word “repentance” means “turning around…” Changing direction…To me it means looking at myself & my life in this moment of time – from a perspective different to some degree – from my day-to-day perspective. It’s not so much comparing myself to some “ideal” & it’s not about comparing myself to anyone else. It’s about trying to see myself as GOD sees me.
That’s not necessarily easy…And it takes practice. It’s not like taking a polaroid (remember them?). It’s not a quick snapshot & then moving on to something else…anything else!
It requires, for me anyway, taking time for BEING rather than DOING. It requires making a commitment to spending time with my inmost self, in the Presence of God…not just fleetingly, but intentionally spending some time in practicing being STILL…And in my own conscious presence…& offering MY stillness/presence to be in GOD’s Presence.
This is where true REPENTANCE begins, I believe. If it really is “turning around” in stillness, then it’s not like spacing out & missing my exit to someplace I thought I was going. It’s not taking the next exit just because I missed the last one. It’s really more a matter of sliding over into the passenger seat, and letting God drive. That could be kind of scary…giving up all that control, dontchaknow? Ahhh…So maybe Lent, no matter what & no matter who you are….Maybe Lent is really about learning TRUST.
Peace, Pam Gregory