Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lent and Rushing Water

Have you ever had any kind of wilderness survival training? I had a course in seventh grade in preparation for a snowbound adventure, complete with snowshoes. One thing we learned was not to drink stagnant water. I grew up in Colorado where gravity ruled the movement of most water so that wasn't a problem. Nature's running water. It was clear, clean and colder than your refrigerator.

So, what does the river have to do with Lent?

Lent is a time of reflection. It's a time to consider the life, death and then the resurrection of Christ, but also to contemplate the reason for His suffering--Me.

We remember our shortcomings, maybe not evil for today's standards, but evil for God's standards. Falling short of the goal even the smallest bit is, missing the mark. It means we lose the ability to have a relationship with our Creator and God. So He took our just punishment. He won the victory for us all.

It's so easy to take this lightly. But our salvation is not, and has never been a license to live our own life, shunning God by making our own decisions. He purchased our freedom. If we accepted the gift, then our life is now His, but He waits for us to offer it freely to Him. We can trust Him with it. After all He paid dearly for it.

So during Lent we reflect. We confess our sins to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We thank Him for His generous sacrifice and we purify ourselves, consecrating our life once again to the One who is worthy of it.

Busyness, however, can rob us of this intentional thinking. We end up making decisions on the spur of the moment because we don't have time to consider what God would want. Like a stagnant pond collecting abstract objects that clutter and add filth, we become lifeless--functioning, but not really living.

Oh for the purifying, rushing river of the Holy Spirit. The river moves, it doesn't stagnate. Like the Holy Spirit prodding us to repentance and holy living, the river pushes ahead carrying away filthy debris that would otherwise clog the river.

May I determine to give some time for reflection during this Lenten season, allowing the Holy Spirit to nudge me forward.


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