Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Season of Discipline

There's something good about Lent, too, though. Sometimes I give stuff up. Sometimes I try to start new, good habits. Either way, it's a solemn endeavour.

Sometimes I think my whole life is Lent. Not that I'm suffering all that much or anything. Maybe I'm just being grandiose. But sometimes you try to be intentional about "pursuing shalom with everyone and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12.14, CJB).

And then you look around and it seems like no one else is trying to.

And then you feel like maybe thinking like that is just being judgmental. (Because it probably is).

And then you wonder if you have a completely messed-up view about what holiness actually is, and if you aren't trying too hard to live up to standards Jesus never even set--as if you left the room to go to the bathroom or something when they were explaining the rules of the game and when you came back, you tried to play by the rules you thought you knew but everyone else was playing by different ones and was secretly laughing at you and at how long it was taking you to figure it out.

I felt like that this weekend. And then I thought about it and prayed about it, and maybe I'm still wrong, but I still sense that I have to pursue whatever holiness I can manage to grasp. It's just that it's a discipline, which is often "not pleasant at the time" (Hebrews 12.11, NIV). But if there was no discipline during Lent, I might well be distracted from or immune to the riotous hallelujahs, the fulfillment of all holy hopes, that come with Easter.


David A. Zimmerman said...

Wow--way to sum it up. Great post. Nice new picture too.

Jenn said...

Oh--thanks. I was worried after I posted that it sounded like I was saying "*I* am the only one in the WHOLE WORLD who REALLY CARES about what GOD WANTS (and furthermore, I know exactly what it is.)"

I feel, from your comment, somewhat relieved with the hope that maybe I didn't sound quite like that. Because it really isn't what I meant.

The picture is a watercolour I did of a character of a book I was writing once and have long since given up on--but the character (and the painting) remain.

the item said...

Everyone sometimes feels like they are playing by the wrong rules. Even me.

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