And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world. . .
The season of Lent puts me at odds with the world because the practices of Lent are contrary to what is practiced in the world. Self-denial through fasting, study and prayer do not fit with our self-centered, me-first culture that encourages us to indulge ourselves because we "deserve" it.
Busyness is viewed as a badge of honor by the culture, but Lent pushes us into the wilderness, where busyness is meaningless. I mean, what are you going to do in a place where there is nothing to do? Our culture looks on such a lack of doing with disgust, for we value people by what they do, not by who they are.
To me, Lent is about drawing near to God, doing less stuff and spending more time at the feet of Jesus, who is in the wilderness with us. Forty days of less busyness means forty days of closer walking with Jesus. Our hurry-up society cannot fathom coming aside for forty days to fast and pray and listen.
This is day three of the journey, and already the world is attacking me, demanding that I get busy, catch up, get back in the rat race. Lord, help me to resist. I want to come out on the other side of this pilgrimage stronger in my faith and closer to God. May I have the courage to live differently than the world.