Have you ever been driving down the road and realize you missed your turn and have had to make a U-turn to get headed in the right direction? I have done this plenty of times, as my wife can attest! Moreover, there have been a few times where I thought I was headed in the right direction in the first place only to discover I had been driving the wrong way the entire time.
One instance I will never forget was the time I was going to the first day of an internship at a church. I had looked up the map of the name of the town where the church was located and headed on my way only to discover I had ended up at the wrong church! Luckily, I was only a half an hour from the church I was supposed to be at and made it just in time for service.
When considering the meaning behind the season of Lent in the church year, a good way to remember its purpose is to think of it as U-turn. During Lent we make a U-turn as we approach Holy Week. Holy Week of course is the week when we remember the events of Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and Resurrection. As the church developed over time, it began setting aside 40 days of preparation prior to Holy Week to do a U-turn in one’s life. This 40 day period became a time of repentance.
During this 40 day period, we take time to recognize we have made missteps or wrong turns in our lives and take time to make course corrections. Often people give up particular items during this season (e.g. Cokes, TV, etc.) as a way of saying nothing in this world is more important than God. So this year, I invite you to observe a Holy Lent – to fast and pray and return to the Lord. I invite you to consider your walk with God and see how you can be further challenged to devote more of yourself to the Lord. Trust me it is worth it! May God be with you as you enter into the season of Lent!