For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lent: When It Starts as a Failure

I missed it yesterday, the first day of Lent. Two years ago was the first time, only time, I have participated in the tradition of Lent. I looked up the background on it because, not being Catholic, I had no idea what the purpose was. I only knew it was a time when the people I knew who celebrated it put ash on their head and talked a lot about being glad when it was over so they could have whatever they were fasting again. I never saw the point. Then someone told me the point was so people could see their own desperation and need for Christ. Well, I don't need Lent to tell me what a failure I am at living the love or life I profess. That is right in front of me every day of my life.

So two years ago when I felt like the Lord called me to participate in Lent, I explained to Him that I didn't need to be reminded what a failure I am. I already get that. I don't need fasting to show me how utterly miserable and whiny I can be about my comfort zone or chocolate supply being disrupted. I'm painfully aware of that as well. And really, I was not in a place where I needed to feel more miserable about life or myself.

He was relentless in His request that I participate in Lent, and He said simply, "If Lent is about me, why don't you ask me how I want you to celebrate Lent?"

I did.

I then spent 40 days studying 1 Corinthians 13 because if the goal of Lent is to prepare a soul for the death and resurrection of Christ, then the goal of Lent has got to be love. It wasn't our depravity that put Christ on a cross. It wasn't some sadistic desire to upset our comfort zone. It was love that put Christ on the cross. John 3:16 says it plain as anything, "For God so LOVED that He sent His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

The crucifixion and resurrection are the gift. Lent should prepare our hearts for the gift.

So I spent 40 days studying about love and the gift of a love...and how Christ wanted me to love myself.

It sounds selfish, but it was a season. It was a step in the recreating and restoring of a life shattered, and now that life is solid.

And really, I'm not thrilled about the idea of Lent again. Except I keep remembering how it spilled out of those 40 days right into my living room of the house the Lord moved us to...literally.

The home we bought is a HUD home, stripped bare, even some of the light fixtures mixing. If it could be removed, it was, except for this one absurd thing. When you walk in the front door, just to the right, it starts. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal..."

And it continues all the way around the room to the other edge of the door.

The one removable thing that was not removed.

The one thing dying on the cross could not kill.

This year I had not planned to observe Lent because nothing in particular came to mind as a means of participation, and once again, I have a enough failings to keep me falling on my knees. I don't need another failure.

Except love never fails.

So this Lent, I'm asking a simple question...

If the gift is love...and love never fails...

If I don't want to fail in preparing to receive the fully knowing Jesus...I have to know something very important...

How do I fail to love?

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