In the Lent season, as we reflect on Jesus’ life, our particular reflection goes to the events leading up to the Cross. Attention is brought to his sacrifice and the story isn’t pretty. It brings to the forefront of our minds horrible crimes, terrible deeds and evil done to One who did not deserve it. (Though, as we know, it all works out wonderfully well in the end for Him and for us.)
Often the response during Lent is to focus on sacrifice and to pay attention to “giving up” something or “taking away” something as a sign of respect for what was given up for us.
But what if we flipped the focus? What if we determined this season to focus on “adding” something to our lives as the gift of the Holy Spirit was added for us?
What if we focused on digging for moments of gratitude for which we can give thanks? What if we say thanks for what we have and focus on that with gratitude? What if we trust abundance rather than zeroing in on scarcity and what’s missing?
Yes, Jesus sacrificed – much, more than most of us ever will. But, when we look at his entire life as an example, we also see a life full of abundance and trust. For example, we see his trust that when given 5 loaves and 2 small fish and he had 5000 people to feed, he wasn’t worried. He knew. He displayed an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness for what was given. We see him express thanks and share. And, the resulting experience was one of amazement by those who were there – they had more than enough. More than – in fact 12 baskets full more than. Abundance. (John 6:1-14)
Lent is a season of multiplication. In Lent, we see how God worked (and still does) in the hardest, most impossible situation. What looked to be dire and tragic turned out to be love multiplied and expanded. Up to that point, we had God. We had Jesus. Then, with the sacrifice of Jesus, we gained the Holy Spirit and the availability of God within us. It doesn’t get any better than that.
This season, how might you “flip” your focus to be more like what Jesus modeled? In which hard or seemingly impossible situations, could you actively choose to have an attitude of trust or gratitude? (and see what happens) How could you “add” love to others’ lives? How could you look for the good hidden within each day? How could you choose to focus on what you have rather than what’s missing?
For daily readings for the Lent season, click here.