While I was enjoying fresh air on a glorious sunny day, I looked up and noticed a beautiful clear blue sky. Entirely clear. Not a blemish upon the canvas of blue. It occurred to me that this was…weird. We live near the US border and at any given time of day, the sky is filled with a crisscross pattern left by jet contrails. Not today. Covid 19 had closed the border. Rats! My brain had been as clear as the sky but after a brief respite from thinking of the world’s situation, viral thoughts returned. I recalled that somebody had posted a challenge on social media for people to name something they would never take for granted again. The answers were encouraging – hugs, freedom of movement, peace of mind, family, health – but are we just fooling ourselves if we think we will never take these things for granted again or will we need reminders.
There is more than a slim chance that we are no different than the Israelites who forgot their deliverance, who took for granted the miracle of manna and who ultimately took for granted their very Deliverer and built a golden calf in His stead. They needed constant reminders.
For the past month I have been mulling over the theme of lent and how it is observed. Some folks fast, some give up something dear to them or abstain from a variety of foods or activities. Some participate in Lenten Bible Studies or prayer groups. But is there a purpose in all this participation? Certainly, we want to prepare our hearts for the holiest celebration on the Christian calendar but perhaps there is something more.
Could it be so we never take for granted the death and resurrection of our Saviour? Never take for granted the suffering he endured on our behalf. Never take for granted that he took our place on the cross of crucifixion or that resurrection power poured out eternal life for us all. Perhaps we too need reminders.
Humanity seems to be a fickle bunch who are quick to lose focus and to take for granted even our risen Saviour, our God and his most Holy Spirit. It’s possible, that is what Lent is for, to re-focus, remind, and reflect so that we never take for granted all that was accomplished through Jesus. Yet, is 40 days enough?
It occurred to me that as writers we can be a conduit for Lenten remembrance, not just for this season but all year long. It’s conceivable, that as we surrender to God, he will use us to encourage people and to help re-kindle the fire of their passion for the Lord. To fan the flames of faith so that neither the reader nor the writer takes for granted God nor the gifts he has given us. And in doing so, maybe we will reach out to many who so desperately need Him today and everyday. I do need to take time to be refreshed and renewed. To let Him remind me of all he has done and to flow into me so that I may pour out to others - not just for 40 days but each and every day of the year so that, hopefully, I will never ever take Him for granted.