Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Change My Heart, Oh God -- Make It Ever New -- To Be Like You!

Today (Ash Wednesday) starts the season of Lent. It continues...40 days... through Holy Thursday just before Easter. It's the time when we begin preparing our hearts and minds for Easter. It's a time of intentional laser focus on HIM.

Often we hear the word "Lent" and we think "lint" -- those little fibers that get on our clothes from other fabrics and we use a little sticky lint remover tool to get it off. And Lent means sort of the same thing -- taking the time to "come clean" -- to rid ourselves of the funk and junk that has settled in our hearts. It's remembering the undescribable sacrifice of love that causes us to want to have hearts "swept clean" for His place of residence in us.

During this time, people fast and abstain from things that seem to have control over their lives, and it's also, rather than restraining ourselves, it's the "get ready, get set and go" time when we give to others....very purposefully. Random acts of kindness, being generous, etc. It's all about HEART CHANGE -- from the "It's all about me" to the "It's all about YOU, God!"

Lent is a time to remember, to recall, and to renew our love and commitment to Him. We spend a lot of time REMEMBERING the LOVE God had for us in giving us His one and only SON. We remember the LOVE He demonstrated by coming to this earth, becoming a man (like you and me), living a life of servitude and then was willing to die, be buried, and rise from the grave and lives today to draw us to Himself. Lent is about being fully ATTRACTED to Him WHO is ATTRACTED to us on a daily basis.

Typically, our thoughts are more on what our next meal will be, or the next TV show to watch, or the next assignment we'll be on to, or the plans for the weekend or the next trip or vacation we'll take. Many times, we simply go about our routines without really ever giving God a second thought.

So, what if, for the next 40 days, we were able to be less distracted by making a few changes to our routine? Maybe we give up our "must have" coffee in the morning, or the favorite reality show that "we just can't miss", or turn off our cell phones during meal times with family. Maybe we forego taking a nap, and, instead, we take a walk. And for everything we give up, maybe, instead, we spend time focusing our thoughts and hearts on Christ.

Perhaps as we acknowledge the little things that sometimes distract us from God, we become more aware of the weight of His sacrifice for us. And in turn, we might just be one step closer to fully embracing His grace and unfailing love for us this Easter. Maybe this Easter will be a REAL resurrection to celebrate -- the resurrection from our OLD selves to our NEW selves in Him.