The Lenten season is upon us when we acknowledge in the company of others that we are flawed and only human. By participating in Ash Wednesday services, where our heads are marked with the sign of the cross, we acknowledge that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Also during this time we observe a period of fasting, bible reading, focusing on our spiritual discipline, and praying on one accord with our faith communities.
I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I am a child of God, a believer, and a sinner saved by grace. I am flawed. During this season of Lent, the life changing moments that have occurred for me has caused me to look at things through new eyes from a Lenten perspective. Now, I am asking myself the following questions:
- Why do I focus on my spiritual discipline more during Lent rather any other time of the year?
- Why do I fast longer during Lent rather than any other time of the year?
- Why do I mediate on the word of God, on one accord with with my community of believers, more than any time of the year?
I am charging myself to do more during the year than I do during the season of Lent. From a Lenten perspective I realized I don’t do enough. In the times we are living in now more is required.
When I was little my Mama would tell us that we had to be home before the street lights came on.
“If you come in when the street lights are on, you are late!”
I wasn’t the only one that had to live by this rule. You heard many parents calling their child’s name after the lights came on. Whether you heard your own name being called or a name of a friend, you knew that somebody would be in trouble that evening. On the other side of the threshold was a mother with her hand on her hip and of course you can just imagine the rest.
I didn’t appreciate it back then, but as a parent I understand now. Our parents were protecting us from the foolishness that happens when the sun goes down. They felt it was best to have their children safely at home. That was then when that thought process held to be true. Today, foolishness can take place at anytime of the day. From 8 a.m. when our children arrive to school, to 2:30 p.m. when they leave school, to their afternoon ride on the bus to get home, or even in the car on our way to the grocery store our children can get injured or lose their lives to violence.
Every once in a while I still find myself trying to get in before the street lights come on as I still consider my daughter to be precious cargo as we take our commute home. While I may not always be successful, I pray for my family that God covers our going out and our coming in. I pray that God sends His angels to protect us and blocks anything that tries to rise up against us. I pray God gives us discernment to be cautious of our surroundings and unforeseen dangers. I pray before and after the street lights come on.
In just a few hours most of us will get together to watch Super Bowl LI. It’s a time we gather together around our television screens big, wide, or movie theater size to cheer for our teams. This is the day that we forget our diets and just eat and have a good time.
As the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons take the field, let’s enjoy this moment of togetherness. Let’s enjoy this moment of no politics, good food, and good laughter. Let our hearts and minds be clear of things that distance us and enjoy one of the most watched sports in the world, football.
Prayerfully we can take this togetherness into tomorrow and the next day and if not at least we had today.