Balancing Lent

Andy Wade –

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. I want to thank all the women who, over the years, have guided, challenged, taught, nurtured, and blessed me. I can only imagine what a mess I’d be without all of you in my life. (not to mention I wouldn’t even be without my mom!)

This got me thinking again about the importance of balance in our lives. The “Yin and Yang” that brings harmony to the whole creation. God created man and woman in God’s image, not separate, but together. Balance is really at the heart of Lent and Easter. God desires harmony, a dwelling together in peace and unity. Lent provides us the opportunity to explore what is out of sync in our lives.

Where are the fragmented and broken pieces and how did they get that way? This is often a question I wrestle with. As painful as this process may be, I must look deep inside. The cross reveals the extreme measures God will go to in order to see us made whole. It’s typical in our western culture to focus on the individual meaning of the cross, that “personal salvation”. But we can’t get to that point without first realizing that in Christ, God is reconciling all things.

By exploring my own brokenness and beginning to work toward healing, I lay the foundation for healing beyond myself. My anger is not isolated to me. My lust is not of myself. My desire for control extends to the world around me. My pride is my ego asserting itself over another.  To be reconciled to God is to begin the process of reconciliation to self, and that process requires reconciliation to the people and whole creation around me.

If Lent is merely a season of giving up, of personal sacrifice, but does not point me to the cross and resurrection, it becomes a rather self-indulgent season. It becomes lopsided and unbalanced. But Lent is not about me, it’s about us. Lent is allowing the truth of God in Christ reconciling all things to sink deep into my soul and uncover my points of resistance to that truth. Laying bare my motivations, my prejudices, my fears, and anxieties, I become more available to God’s purposes within, and around me.

Where are you finding balance this Lent?