A Final Word On Lent

I’ve been challenged to wrap up the Lenten word-a-day challenge (that’s how we interpreted it) with some final thoughts.  So here you go…

I have to say this past Lent was the most transformational Lent I’ve experienced.photo-a-day-lent-final

And to think it started with a crazy experiment to blog based on a word of the day.

So what was so special about this season of preparation?

For starters, I actually found myself preparing   I spent time each day thinking about and then trying to articulate what God was doing in me as it related to the word agreed upon.  As I submitted to the daily discipline, I found myself digging deeper – into scripture and into myself.  I wrestled with some angels and some demons through the process.  Coupled with trying to create or find an image to accompany each post, my creativity was engaged and this whole process of self-reflection and introspection took on multiple-layers.  My whole brain was engaged.  Maybe better to say, my whole being.

Though I didn’t know it would turn out to be a communal journey, I learned something about having others with you in the wilderness.  We challenged and encouraged each other.  We learned from one another.  We grew closer together through our words and photos in ways I found completely surprising.  Many days we took a word and expressed some unique thought or feeling.  On many more days we gathered around a word and almost duplicated the thought of several of the others   I took away, sometimes God does stuff in us that is just for us.  Most of the time God does stuff in us that we all need to hear/learn/experience.  Check out what some of the others discovered along the way…

I was also surprised by the number of folks who shared the journey through our words and pictures. Not directly contributing perhaps, but sharing a comment here or a like there.  Some making mention of a post or a thought in person, transcending the cyberness of this medium.  Some conversation was started.  Some dialogue was prompted.  What was personal became communal and it was cool to be a part of it.

Finally, I learned that no matter how many secrets I have, or how many hurts I harbor, I am not alone.  God is with us and so are a whole bunch of really great people God allows us to connect with.  Comments and feedback and smiles and hugs all came together this Lent to help me keep exploring; keep working at it; keep pursuing God.

Can you handle one more?

I also learned your celebration of a thing is directly proportional to your anticipation of a thing.  I think I knew this mentally, but I hadn’t really experienced it in my spirit.  Walking through this Lenten experiment allowed me the space and time to truly reflect.  As I entered Holy Week, I had been so anticipating the culmination of Lent at Easter that the whole week came alive in a new and fresh way.  As I knelt to receive Communion on Thursday, I did know myself as a sinner called and claimed by Jesus, incorporated into this crazy community, this family of misfits.  As I hammered a nail into a wooden beam on Friday, I wept openly as I felt broken and guilty and lost.  All of this so instrumental in how I would finally experience Easter joy.  New life means something different when you’ve really taken time to examine the old life.

Rethink Church is doing some great things. I greatly appreciate what they offered this Lent.  And so, we keep going.  We keep reflecting and learning and sharing and growing.  The story isn’t over.  In fact, we’ve just discovered a brand new beginning.

Life is better together,
Shawn

2 responses to “A Final Word On Lent

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