…than never,” the old saying goes.
I had every hope an intention of beginning a Lenten journey on this blog last Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent. But when I got home after the day’s responsibilities, I was suddenly and violently struck by a stomach bug. I’m only now feeling like I am truly back on my feet.
So despite my best intentions, my blogging journey through Lent begins now. Because life got in the way. Which happens sometimes. None of us knows what tomorrow holds. The unexpected comes…unexpectedly. 🙂 Our plans and our hopes get derailed or redirected or preempted.
What I am learning as I continue to journey in faith is that derailments are only a problem if you allow yourself to remain derailed. The other old saying is true: you gotta get back on the horse. It’s easy enough to do that when it comes to something like this blog: I simply have to make and take the time to write it. And then, tomorrow, I must make and take the time again. And each day after that. Simple enough, right?
But what about something more difficult than writing a blog regularly? What about someone whose faith has been derailed by grief? What about someone whose life has lead them into a state of despair? What if it’s not as simple as making and taking the time each day?
I like this advice, from the Scriptures:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8 NLT
There is something about focusing our minds on good things. I’m not saying it is simple, and I am not saying this fixes everything. But when we begin to regularly fix our minds on what is true, honorable, right, lovely, pure, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise – our focus shifts. The way we see things changes. And when the way we see things changes, so will our experience of life, even if we are waking through a season of very difficult things.
Lent is sometimes a difficult season – a time of recognizing our sin and our need for reconciliation with God. A time for preparing to celebrate the freedom we find anew each Easter with the declaration that “He is Risen!” This Lent, let’s think about what is true, honorable, right, lovely, pure, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise (hint: Jesus is all of those things!), and see how our experience changes.