The timing of Lent this year feels special to me because it also times up with the final weeks of pregnancy. Baby boy is due at Easter, and while we actually have no clue when he’ll make his appearance, I love the idea of spending these last weeks intentionally fasting something in preparation for this new season.
Approaching this Lent, I’ve felt challenged to give up something intangible. Maybe it’s because I’ve already given up a lot of food while being pregnant… and fasting sweets right now in the third trimester is just not an option. 🙂 But beyond that, I felt like there have been two areas of my life that I need to surrender – hurry and worry. Maybe Lent is just the time to do that, a time to make a conscious effort to lay down those two strongholds.
Hurry – feeling like I have endless preparations to do and plans to make. Fighting the feeling that I’m running out of time before everything changes. Wanting to finish up well at work and with other obligations while also wanting to enjoy this time and not wish it away.
Worry – wondering if everything is going to be okay. Feeling uncertain about what the weeks and months ahead are going to hold. Dwelling on the million scenarios that could play out and stressing about hypotheticals.
These aren’t new struggles for me, and I imagine they’re pretty common for a lot of us, no matter what season you’re in. But I don’t want the hurry and worry to rob me of the joy of this season. Rather, I want to intentionally find ways to lay down the tendency to rush and fill my days to the brim with activity and productivity and to give up the worry that threatens to keep me awake at night with scenarios that may never come to pass.
One of the ways I want to do that over the next 40 days is by studying and writing about one of my favorite stories in the Bible – the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10. Because in studying this chapter recently, I’ve realized it’s not a story that condemns people who struggle with hurry and worry. Rather, much like Lent, it’s an invitation to be willing to surrender, to give up and to lay down those habits and natural tendencies for something much better.