I still remember where I was 18 years ago. It was a Tuesday morning at a prayer retreat. The morning session had just begun when someone came in and gave us news that a tower had been hit in New York City.
11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deut. 8:11-14, NIV)
Why Lent? Because we have bad memories. If we do not have regular cycles in our lives to REMEMBER the goodness of God, and, yes, the awfulness of our sin, we tend to drift off and think WE are something.
Again, there is the argument as to doing it right during Lent. You know… that time when all those godless liberal “Christians” are remembering something when they aren’t “really serving God.” It’s just “dead ritual.” So the arguments go.
It’s just good to have a cycle, a rhythm, in our lives where we can circle back and remember the goodness of God. Israel had it in their feasts. Face it. THAT is the possibility of “dead ritual.” Same meal every year? Come on!
So, don’t call it Lent. But how about in these next 40 days or so you call to remembrance the goodness of God. Maybe even reflect on the pit from which the Lord brought you so you realize you’re not “all that.” How about doing that until… say… Easter.
Just reflect. Often.
It may just bring some powerful reality into your next Easter.