Welcome, Lent 2010. If you asked me which of the church seasons I preferred, I would say, hands down… Advent. Lent is a close second though. While for me, the appeal of Advent is the anticipation… the preparation for Christ but Lent is more about cleaning out the closets, letting it go and trying to become more “Christ-like.”
Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the 40 days in the desert. Usually when the subject of Lent comes up, the question that follows is, “What are you giving up?” I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what I am so tied to that it would be difficult to give up… and I got nothin’. I enjoy FaceBook and Twitter but I am not so tied to them that the thought of being a day a away causes sweats. So, I’ve decided to add to my life, rather than take away. This morning, I began my morning by reading Psalm 1 (there are 140 Psalms and I will not get through all 140 this Lenten Season as I am planning on reading/ meditating on 1 per day.)
Psalm 1 talks about the 2 paths man can take in life… the way of the righteous versus the way of the wicked. It sounds simple enough but the thing that we have to remember is that we can only walk the way of the righteous WITH GOD, there is no other way. God doesn’t want us to be fully dependent on Him, nor does He want for us to be fully independent of Him. God’s relationship with us is just as any parent with their child, and like a parent, God wants nothing but the best for us.
This morning at our small faith group, one of the moms there mentioned the analogy of “The Monkey Trap.” I snagged the following from the blog “Cameron’s Brain”
The spider monkey lives in the trees of the tropical jungles of South America, have hook-like, narrow and thumbless hands and tiny brains. In order to catch spider monkeys, hunters in South America simply walk through the jungle and drop heavy containers on the ground. These containers have very a narrow top and a wider bottom. Inside the containers the hunters drop a special kind of nut which is particularly attractive to the monkeys. Sometime later, the spider monkeys come down from the tops of the trees, smell the nut, but the tops of the containers are so narrow they have a tight squeeze to get their hands inside. Once they grab the nut at the bottom, their fist is too large to remove if through the opening. And the containter is too heavy for them to carry.
So instead of letting go of the nut, the monkeys just sit there until the hunters come back, pick them up, and throw them in a bag.
The spider monkeys are not prepared to let go of a small nut in order to gain their freedom.
During this Lenten Season, think to yourself, what can I not bear to let go of to gain my freedom? It may not be something material or tangible but it could also be a concept: higher income, perfect figure, fear of being alone… what weight it keeping you down?
Today is not only a fast day (1 full meal permitted, fluids OK, no snacks between meals, little food OK at other meal times so long as they combined do not add up to a full meal) but it’s also an abstinence from meat day.
On the menu tonight:
Black Beans with Ro-Tel and Onion served over Brown Rice