… pace yourself.
Lent is not just a season, it is a journey. It also recalls many journeys taken throughout salvation history. When rain fell upon the earth for 40 days and 40 nights, God bore up Noah and his family on a seafaring journey that led to new beginnings for humans and animals alike. When God led the Israelites to Mount Sinai, Moses journeyed to the summit and returned 40 days later with a word from the Lord about what should be the people’s next steps. It also took the people of Israel 40 years to journey from slavery to promise as they wandered, and walked, and prayed, and faltered until they finally arrived at their anticipated destination.
Each year Christians around the world take that same journey which constitutes the 40 days from ashes to empty tomb. It is good to pace ourselves, because Scripture reminds us that this is a spiritual journey that requires some interior work and preparation. We all want God to roll away the stones in our lives that keep us from experiencing new life in its fullest, but few of us are willing to count the cost, to consider the road less traveled, and to pick up our cross and follow Jesus in his journey from Galilee toward Jerusalem.
As we enter the month of April, I want to invite us not to speed up but to slow down and ponder. Make these last steps toward the Great Three Days intentional and deliberate. Spend a little more time in daily prayer and meditation if you can. Make time on your calendar to pray with your family, and not just at meal times. Avail yourself of the special Lenten worship opportunities that are offered here at the church. Consider practicing a few of the spiritual disciplines that you may not have experienced or tried before. Don’t try and sprint to the end of this journey for that is often how we can easily miss the new Easter miracle that awaits us yet again. God is still inviting us to new life, new beginnings, and new opportunities that we have not yet imagined. Pace yourself. It is still Lent, but Easter is coming.