For Jesus, this had gone on His whole life. But around this time two thousand years ago, things were kicking into high gear—in God’s camp and in Satan’s.
Once I read that the days leading to Good Friday were the only time in history that God and the devil were working toward the same goal—though for very different reasons.
I think Ash Wednesday comes at an opportune time for me this year. My mind and heart have been rather full of late, sometimes spinning with ideas and possibilities, sometimes heavy with injustices of the past and continuing hurts of the present. Seeing the Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom movie, attending workshops of the Native American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies, being moved by the Oscars for 12 Years a Slave, dialoguing about the challenges of “race talk” with a close African-American friend…it’s a lot to take in and try to process.
Plus pressing forward with trying to finish the rough draft of my current novel manuscript this month—still almost 20,000 words to go!—and unknowns and possibilities for the future.
In the midst of all this comes Lent…a time to step back and Selah, to remember the Focal point of history, and of my life, if it’s to be worth anything. The One who is infinitely bigger than the universe yet confined Himself to a human body, even one nailed to a cross.
For us, broken, sinful humanity that we are.
I want to slow down and focus on Jesus more this season. I’ve been realizing more and more the power and importance of prayer—not just the routine, half-worrying prayer I tend to do, but both really being still in His presence and truly wrestling in the spiritual realms. For unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain who build it.
So these are the rather scattered ponderings of my heart as we enter into this season. What about you? What has the Lord been putting on your heart lately? Do you “keep Lent”? If so, how?
A blessed Ash Wednesday to you.