Hey, old friend! It's been awhile. How are you? I'm looking forward to seeing you. I always love a good trek in the desert.
Funny thing about you, though -- you always sneak up on me. Well, not exactly ... I always feel as if you steal in through the back door, but the truth is, you're stirring in my mental house for weeks before you arrive. I may tell everyone, "I have no idea what I'm doing for Lent this year - I haven't even thought about it," but in truth, the thoughts are always there, somewhere. Buried, perhaps, a bit hidden, even from myself. They're mostly prayers -- sometimes spoken, sometimes silent -- for guidance about what I need to do. (What to give up? What new habit to establish? How to deepen my prayer life? Time to examine the maxim I say I want to live by, but so often fail at: "Lord, let me serve without counting the cost.")
So, I've got about ten days before you arrive on my doorstep, Lent. Will you come bearing gifts? Surprises? You're good that way. I never know what to expect from you. (Like that year you yelled at me to give up coffee.) Sometimes, I must admit, you exasperate me. Especially when I've planned for us to have a particular kind of get-together, and then you pull the rug out from under me and bring up stuff I hadn't planned to deal with during your visit. You know how to push my buttons. That's okay. We're good enough friends, we can weather those storms. And, come to think of it, I always come away from the confrontation feeling stronger. Better. Recharged. Huh. It's almost as if you knew it would happen that way. Maybe you aren't trying to be annoying?
Oh, Lent. You always give me something to ponder. Can't wait to see you.
If you've been writing letters to Lent lately, too, or if you're just looking for ideas about the season, you can find lots of them in this series of posts:
(I'll be on Relevant Radio's Morning Air on Tuesday, at 6 a.m. central, talking about Lent.)