SURRENDER those things that keep us from being the person that God has created us to be and keep us from becoming the person that He knows we can be, those things that are standing in the way of our seeing Christ more clearly in our self and in others, in life’s challenges and in our crosses. LENT IS NOT A TIME TO GIVE UP and think that we can’t do what God knows we can and invites us to believe that we can and that we, with His help, will.
STRETCH OURSELVES: our imaginations, our minds, our spiritual comfort zone and our hearts. We need to stretch so that we can see ourselves accomplishing and overcoming the hardest challenges that face us, but we think will defeat us. We need to allow God to stretch that which is set and confined so that HE can reset, reform us into His image.
LOVE ourselves and others, especially those who don’t like us, and to HATE those things that take us away from God and make us want to be more self-centered and selfish instead of being more Christ centered and self-less.
FORGIVE and not to be bitter. We are called to forgive ourselves and others, and not hold on to the past of bad choices, deep hurts and poor decisions. Only in true forgiveness can we experience genuine and lasting freedom so that we can be the beacon of Christ’s mercy, love and compassion for our self and to others. "Forgive them for they know not what they do”
BE STILL so that you can feel the gentle breeze of God’s Spirit as He touches your heart and opens it to His healing love and deep abiding peace.
NOT BE BUSY just for the sake of being busy or to run from anything. Lent is a time to listen as God tells you that there is only one thing that matters to Him. That you know and believe with all your heart that you are His greatest creation, His beloved son or daughter, that He loves you just as you are, and that His love for you is free, unconditional and everlasting.
LOOK OUT THE WINDOW and see and appreciate His presence in all of His creation; the sun, the moon, the stars, the grass, the creatures that crawl about and those that hover over, the people that we know and the stranger that we pass by, the beauty of the day, the beauty in the hearts of those that care about us and the beauty of a God who cares even more for you.
BUT IT IS NOT A TIME TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR if you are looking to point out your sins, your flaws, your weaknesses or your shortcomings, but only if you are looking to remind yourself that you are loved by God just as you are because His love is much greater than all of these. His death is a reminder that He sees all that you see, but He looks into the depth of your heart to see that which you have not begun to.
AS LENT GRADUALLY comes to an end, and you find yourself asking, “How have I grown in my relationship to Christ, or how have I been a reflection of His presence in my life to others”? As you look back and recall how you found yourself helping others and giving of your time, talent and compassion, know that your desire is in response to God’s grace, so trust in God and believe that you are closer to Him than you think.
We measure our progress and that of others with human expectations and limitations, but God looks into the very heart that He created and sees its width, its depth, its woundedness, its potential and fills it with His compassion, His mercy, His peace and His grace so that we can be the best loving person that we can be. You are what He wants you to be, for you can be nothing less.
What you are is God’s gift given in love and out of love,
what you become is your gift to God.