John’s Blog- Lenten Journey
In her book, Pastrix, Nadia Bolz Weber writes, “As a teenager I loved how I looked in the outfit of using drugs and exercising poor judgment. I had tried it on, spun around in the mirror, and decided I would choose this look, this image, this identity. But eventually and without realizing it, the ability to choose had gone. I had become what I had pretended to be.
“When you can’t control something—like how if I take one drink all bets are of no matter what motivation I have for controlling myself—it’s easier to arrange a life in which it looks like you’ve chosen it all, as opposed to facing the truth: You have lost your ability to choose any of it.” (p. 35-36)
Lent is the time to stop pretending we still want the life we have chosen. Lent is the ongoing effort to be freed from our bad choices. Most of those choices we actually thought looked good on us at the time. Most of those choices seemed to fit us like a glove. Unfortunately that which clung to our bodies so cleanly at first and seemed so suited for us began to choke out the life created in us. The life God had put in us. The life God wanted for us. What had begun as a gentle waltz suddenly turned into a violent wrestling match. We had lost our God given ability to choose. Even worse, we had lost our ability to “un-choose!”
Lent is that time to be freed from bad choices not by our will power, but, rather, by God’s grace. Lent is a time to practice the disciplines of prayer, scripture reading and worship that graciously free us from our bad choices.