We are now in our second Sunday of Lent, and this season of self-denial has really got me thinking about self-control and self-discipline. And these have me thinking, that man, it’s hard being an adult!
When you’re an adult you can eat whatever the heck you want to eat, you can go, for the most part, wherever you want to go. No one tells you how to spend your money or that you really ought to get to bed at a decent hour. Ultimately you have the say over your time and your decisions. When you are an adult, you answer – a lot of the times – to yourself.
Obviously this is something we all dreamed about with anticipation as kids. And to our children and youth, I’m sure that description sounds awesome (and it is, in a lot of ways.) But being an adult is also really hard because if you want to be a stand-up person, you have to be responsible for all that independence. You have to practice things like self-control and self-discipline.
Lent reminds us of this.
Every year, Lent reminds me that I over-indulge in life much more often than I deny myself; that I choose pride and selfishness more often than humility before God.
Lent reminds me to assess my life and ask myself things like: Am I praying? Am I taking care of my body? Am I using my money wisely? Am I helping others? Am I serving my community? Because. for me, I know that taking care of myself and the world around me ultimately brings me in closer communion to God.
But like being an adult, Lent can be tough! Because facing the facts is tough. That’s why we observe Lent; we don’t “celebrate” it, as people tend to say. Lent is hard. We come to it with a penitential spirit and we face our mortality; we face the brokenness of the world, the darkness of the death of Christ – we face it and we stay a while. And today, in this second week of Lent, we are only just getting started.
Thinking about it can be overwhelming. But Thank God we have each other. Thank God for community to hold each other accountable; to encourage each other. Thank God for Grace. We can trudge through the muck of this darkness, together. We can wait, together. We can hope, together.
God bless each of you as we journey toward the beauty and wonder of Easter. We aren’t there yet and we have a ways to go, but we will get there, and we will get there, together.
And now, together, let us also stand and pass the peace of Christ to one another.
Rev. Aurelia Davila Pratt is the Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Grace Baptist Church. Read her full bio here.