Lent is quickly wrapping up. It’s hard to believe. We are just a week away from Holy Week. This season tends to be a solemn one. Self examination, fasting, and repentance are not always a grand seller from a church marketing standpoint. In general, those are not easy or always enjoyable disciplines to taken on.
As I met with my spiritual director today, I had a new sense of what Lent could mean for us. Could we embrace a new discipline for this season to recognize and give thanks for God’s gifts?
During our conversation, I shared about the joy I often find in ministry. I spoke about my brief monastic retreat a few weeks ago where I could hear God’s call so clearly once again. I also shared about how much I’m enjoying connecting with my son. The response of my spiritual director was quite clear, “Those are all gifts.”
It’s so true. Everything is a gift. The opportunity to serve my church as the Associate Pastor is a gift. Being a husband and father are gifts. All that I own, all that I do, everything is a gift. Brother Thomas Merton said it so well when he wrote “Every breath we draw is a gift of God’s love; every moment of existence is grace.” Maybe the spiritual discipline for me this Lent has been to open myself to the gifts of God all around me.
I believe that Lent doesn’t always have to be a season of gloom, but it can be a season that draws us closer to the God of the cross and the resurrection.
What are the gifts that God has given you? Take some time this Lent to embrace, recognize, and give thanks to God for those gifts.
Today, I join the Apostle Paul in saying, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift(s).”