Isn’t Lent such an odd season? Important, of course, but every year I scratch my head to reconsider its purpose and the practices that may best support that purpose. To realign one’s soul and life toward God…but how? (Martha Spong has been leading a wonderful Facebook conversation each Wednesday in Lent to foster community for those RevGals & Pals who have chosen to journey through Lent with various spiritual practices.)

Perhaps I’m puzzled not so much by Lent but by lingering Lenten memories from childhood when Lent was taught as a test of faith. “Can you withstand the test as Jesus did? Can you deny yourself? Can you endure? Or will you fail to follow Christ through these forty days?” The season, I was given to believe, was akin to a spiritual marathon in which walking was unacceptable and there was no prize simply for putting one foot in front of another; you had to endure, run, win.

Too much backstory? It’s a long way around asking, “How are you doing on this 13th day of Lent (15th, if you’re counting Sundays)?” Putting one foot in front of the other? Finding time to rest along the way? To encourage our Lenten journeys, our colleagues & friends around the RGBP network offer these reminders that winning is not the purpose — not of Lent, not of life, not of faith:

  • Milton shares his story of a recent failure and of the value of solidarity over success, the importance of risk-taking over winning.
  • April reflects on an art exhibit entitled, “Clash: Conflict and Its Consequences,” and the vivid truth that there are no winners in war.
  • Laurie examines the roles of Warrior and Worrier in ministry and in church life. What happens within our faith communities when we must win? What happens when worry prevents us from stepping out with faith? What might it look like to foster healthy Warrior-Worrier balances within ourselves and within our churches?
  • Laura celebrates the heroine in her life — the cleaning lady — and shares the ever-important good news that dirt & sin don’t last always.
  • Cindy writes poignantly, “Aging Isn’t for Sissies,” a heart-aching observation of watching one’s parents age and of little moments that bring joy.

You don’t have to be a hero this Lent. You don’t have to muscle through the season like a spiritual warrior. Be, and be with God … and be with this community! Share your stories of heroism and failure, of struggling and rejoicing, as comments on this blogpost and/or on RGBP’s facebook page.

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