Yesterday was a long day. Overall it was a good day, but when I finally climbed into bed late last night, I was exhausted. As my husband watched a movie next to me, I closed my eyes and began to think/pray through the day.
I prayed through the tasks I had accomplished, the conversations I had engaged in, the time spent with my family, and I found myself confessing before God the many instances I thought of in which I had been “more or less.” What came to mind as I thought through the day were example after example of the opportunities I had not taken to do or say or be “more” to those I had encountered. Reflecting on several other instances, I found myself wishing I had done or said or spent “less” so that I may have been better positioned to listen for the leading of the Spirit or to be more present for someone else in a time of need.
As I went through this mental checklist of “dids and didn’ts”, my husband, thinking I was falling asleep, looked over at me and simply said, “You’re beautiful”. I knew instantly that it was the voice of my husband, but that they were the words of my Lord.
Yesterday began the first day of Lent, a 40 day period of repentance and self-examination. It’s a six week journey which brings us to the cross, broken and in need of its message of mercy and forgiveness and ultimately prepares us for the incomparable joy we find at the empty tomb and Jesus’ victory over death on our behalf.
The journey of Lent brings us to the life changing message of God’s view of “more or less”. It’s at the end of these 40 days that we discover that no more is required of me because no less was acceptable to God than the gift, sacrifice and victory of Jesus. It’s that reality which changes God’s view of me from “more or less” than enough to “beautiful” and wholly loved and redeemed.
As we begin the Red Letter Challenge this week and our study of the words and teachings of Jesus, it’s these thoughts that are causing me to truly want to dig into what it means to follow Jesus as his disciple, asking that my attitude in this journey would be the same as John the Baptist’s: “He must become greater; I must become less”. John 3:30