Wait on God
My son, when you come to serve the LORD, stand in justice and fear, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast,
incline your ear and receive the word of understanding, undisturbed in time of adversity. Wait on God, with patience, cling to him, forsake him not; thus will you be wise in all your ways.
Get ready for the questions. What are you doing for Lent? What are you giving up? The temptation about Lent can be that we think it is really about us. What we do. What we give up. How much willpower we have. But I would suggest that the season of Lent is not all that different than the season of Advent. It is all about how well we wait on what God does in our lives.
When it comes to penance, we can focus exclusively on the external thing that we do, rather than focusing on the internal conversion of our heart. But the external things we do only have meaning to the degree that they help us to turn our hearts more and more toward God. They only have meaning if they cause a conversion of heart.
I think we focus on the external because it is easier. If I decide to give up chocolate, it is clear whether I have been successful or not. If I say I will not be on social media for Lent, there is an easy measure to see if I have been successful. The internal conversion of the heart is different. It is not always easy to see what it is that God is doing in our life.
And because it is not, internal conversion means we are not in control. God is. And God may ask me to go where I would rather not. God might ask me to let go of the sin I cling to in my life. It may be the case that God will ask me to love more, to be more charitable, to make things less about me and more about others. In short, about prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
To wait upon God is really to understand that wisdom of God. It is to see the world the way that God sees the world. It is to see ourselves the way God sees us. In short, it is, in our lives, to become more and more like God. And while God makes this easy, we know that we often make this hard.
So on this day before the start of Lent, think about what it is you need to do to love God more and to love your neighbor and yourself more. Ask God to help you to seek his grace so that you may more fully and completely open your heart to his love and his grace.
In doing this, you will be much more likely to become the person God has made you to be. You will become more fully yourself, a child of God. Have a blessed Lent!
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