Welcoming new life.
Welcoming that I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
Welcoming sin and death defeated and obedience and life winning out!
Welcoming light that pierces the darkness!
My friend Ben, who happens to be a Pastor of Spiritual Formation said it well at our Passover meal, "At the end of it all Lent, rather than some grande result, perhaps is more like a nudge forward."
That moment stuck with me as a sacred moment. It seems I was not alone in how it all felt towards the end of Holy Week. Maybe it's not about the epiphany or wall-ah! look what happened, but rather the gradual shifts going on inside.
It seems a more honest assessment of how transformation takes place. Little-by-little, the Spirit illuminating bit-by-bit, shift-by-shift the process of becoming like Christ.
Over lent giving up social media turned out to be a liberating endeavor. However, if I'm honest, the down time was mostly replaced by streaming a new show on Netflix.
My favorite thing this season was having a feast day intention of adventuring with Jesus on Sundays. I like routine. I like familiarity. I like nestling in at home or at the usual jaunts. While there is nothing wrong with that per se, it can close me off from new opportunities and experiences.
So "out of the box" (for me) included:
- Stopping in Cayucos (Gasp! Where I'd never been) to try out the Brown Butter Cookie Company.
- Going on a walk from Pismo Beach to Grover Beach (Shell Beach and Avila Beach are my usual jaunts). Jesus even had a little note he left for me...
- Visiting a new wine bar in Morro Bay called Stax.
- Finding Sam's Chowder Mobile while on the way to San Francisco to order a lobster roll. I had watched a show that rated it one of the Top 5 sandwiches in the U.S. So when a friend and I were on our way up north I thought, "Hey, this is out of the Susie Shaw box, let's find that mobile!" Here is where I did in fact break my social media fast to see on Twitter where they were parked. (By the way, good, but not amazing).
- Laying flat on my back all day one Sunday. This, of course, was no adventure for me as it was more an act of obedience since I hurt my back at work. I was a grumpy grumperton!
The last week of lent, Holy Week, seemed to be the worst! Launching with my back being tweaked which led to eating crappy a few days and deciding it was junk food week including but not limited to: Cadbury milk chocolate eggs (the kind with candy shell), giant Reeses egg, jelly bellies, loaf of french bread, cake, pizza, Ben n Jerry's, lamb, lattkes, etc.
Indeed, it felt like a downward spiral into pagan junk food worship!
But maybe that's it.
I entered lent with aspirations, intentions, and desires and left it barren, in need, weak, aware of my great need for a Savior.
A Savior who pursues me. A Savior who chooses me, again and again--when I wander, when I stay the course. A Savior who loves me enough to correct me. A Savior who walks with me. A Savior committed to teaching me the new way of L I F E in H I M.
A Savior who died for me.
A Savior who is slowly but surely making me more like him--learning to lay down my life and live out His.
My favorite Facebook post of Easter (Hey! it was Easter I could be on Facebook!)