Lent does not have to be a time of sadness, glumness or forced dourness. If that works to deepen self-reflection, well then have at it. I prefer to think about Lent as a time of exciting exploration: What's around this next corner? What's behind that curtain I'm about to draw back?
This season can be a time of renewal. Sure there is hard work involved in this, but that does not mean that work has to be depressing. There are people who feed on being Debbie Downer: that is not a healthy model to adopt though. Look at our reading from John today, there is such a sense of excitement. Philip and Nathanael and Jesus are our main characters on the stage today. Philip and Jesus are excited from the get-go, Nathanael takes a bit of convincing, but he gets there eventually - he turns from being Dougie Downer to Merry Mary once he starts to open himself and listens to Jesus.
Lent can be like that for us. Our exploration, self-reflection and evaluation can lead us into that loving embrace that Jesus holds ready for us. The journey may have some bumps along the way, but that is not where we should dwell, nor is the purpose of the journey. Walking into the unknown with a sense of excitement makes the journey a different one. Can't you just see the smile on Jesus' face as he holds out his hand inviting each of us to: Follow Me.....Come and See.
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved