The period known as Lent is quickly coming to its climax: “Holy Week” culminating on the Sunday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the grave.
During the period of approximately six weeks that compose the period of Lent many people of faith do things, or don’t do things, as an outward gesture to acknowledge this reflective season and perhaps affect spiritual growth. I can’t say how this transaction occurs. But I do believe that, this kind of reflection ought to define the Christian life, apart beyond the period of Lent. So in this way I do not remain convinced God is overly interested in what do or do not do during this season.
Regardless, it is good to make the effort! It is good to think about it. Because in general, on the days go, one to the next. We rise in the morning and look out the window. We check the weather. We make decisions about the day. Maybe we ask God for guidance in this, maybe we don’t. Maybe we ponder in our hearts whether God influences our decisions with or without our consulting him about it. All day, in each moment, we are forging the destiny that will ultimately claim us, day-to-day. Maybe Lent causes us to reflect: How often is our time badly spent! What becomes of our destiny when we forfeit it to distractions?
One of my favorite writers, Frederick Buechner, poignantly depicts this soul struggle in so much of his writing. I’m sure this is why Buechner has found a fierce and loyal following. On of his characters, Antonio Parr — in The Book of Bebb series — expresses the disorientation that often overwhelms the average person on an average day who looks for God into the every-day moments, yet some times struggles to find him:
“I have a feeling it’s the in-between times, the times that narratives like this leave out and that the memory in general loses track of, which are the times when souls are saved or lost.”
Lent, if nothing else, is an in-between time and every day is another contest on the playing field wherein a soul can be won or lost. Every day, like checking the weather, let us ask God to give us the day. Help us in the battle. To tip the balance of our days in the direction of being saved.