The first week of Lenten reflection is called “Journey into the Brokenness of Our Inner Selves”. Only by examining and naming the muck in my life can I face my False Self, turning to the Cross for transformation into my True Self. Most people lay things down for Lent. A friend of mine explained how she has a hard time with that concept, that she wants to pick up something (for her, intentional time to be creative). I think this is perfectly in line with the Lenten Spirit. Through her creativity, something God-given that is part of her True Self, she can set aside other things that might be causing more brokenness in her life.
I didn’t lay things down either, per say. I picked up memorizing a scripture a day. Which, to me, sounds SO DORKY. I was on Bible Quizzing and have an association of scripture memorization and competition: if I’m not doing it to win a prize, then I’m doing it because I’m some goody two-shoes who wants to be able to throw back Bible verses as little arrows in debates on communion or women in leadership in the church or salvation, etc. Hmm: broken area in my life?
So I’m setting aside my pride and I’m memorizing a verse a day. They’re simply verses I’ve noticed from the previous day or that stand out to me. For example, after waking up, again, in the middle of the night with nasty dreams, I found myself saying, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Wondered what the context of that verse was, so it’s my verse of the day, but more focusing on the good stuff before it: “But He gives us more grace. Therefore He says, ‘God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit to God.” (James 4:6-7).
Friday night we attended a Lent Gathering at Newberg Friends. I had wanted to go, and once the kids took really long naps (i.e. it’d be FOREVER until they fell asleep that evening), that sealed the deal. It was good: contemplative singing, engaging talks, stations to participate in. One of the stations called for writing a sin or something you wanted to give up for Lent and nailing it to the cross. My first thought: “I’ve done this. A thousand times. It.Doesn’t.Work.” DOH. Unbelief. And unbelief in God’s redemptive power: sin. Boo-yah.
So perhaps another thing I’m trying to set aside (permanently) is unbelief. Which hopefully the scripture will equip me with the words in my head that will seep into my heart so that I might be single-minded: my True Self.