The Magnitude of Heaven, The Trifle of Time

Every year it sneaks up on me. But not this time. This time, I am ready.

That is, I am ready for Lent, ready to observe, for forty days, a time predestined by the moon, or the alignment of Jupiter, or when the manufacturing quota for Cadbury eggs has been met, or however the date of Easter is calculated, the cornerstone of my faith. (Christianity, in case you were wondering.)

For forty days, I will be keenly aware of the occurrence of the crucifixion, that awareness heightened when I get an itch for the little things I’ve sacrificed to remind me.

Forty days. Out of 365. That’s 10.96% of my year, because I was a math major in college.

You’re welcome, Jesus.

What’s sad is, this is actually huge for me. This year, I’m ready for the entire Easter season, not just the 48 hours leading up to Easter Sunday in a mad dash to fit a lifetime of reverence while stockpiling my pantry with the criminally delicious Cadbury eggs and finding the perfect Easter outfits for a reasonable price. (Cue The Jeffersons‘ theme song, because it just makes sense, so go with it.)

It’s easy for me to forget that the time leading up to Good Friday is a sacred one. After all, it’s a full forty days long (not even including Sundays!), and I have a short attention span. I can only imagine how electric the days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion must have been as He wrapped up His ministry. I believe He knew His timeframe, knew what He was working with, knew the magnitude of Heaven had to be condensed into a tiny pocket of time.

All leading up to the pyrotechnics, the Big Show, the Grand Finale.

I can only imagine the weight of those final days, every sunrise edging Him closer to His death march, every village filled with souls in need of saving, everything hanging on common men who just didn’t get it yet.

The heaviness He must have experienced, most likely every day of His human life, knowing what was coming, knowing His mission, knowing, despite the passion and the purpose, that He would still be mocked, ridiculed, ignored, and brushed aside, knowing His sacrifice, even His existence, would be questioned and discredited, knowing His Father would be shunned, mistrusted, labeled a virtual reality. In life, in death, in resurrection.

Makes going to the dentist a cake walk.

So maybe for these forty days of my rather mellow life I can be more purposeful about remembering.

Every time I reach for the things I have committed to refrain from during this time of sacrifice, and instead flip open my Bible and fill that hunger with more of God, maybe I will catch just a faint shadow of the enormity of Jesus’ mission, maybe get a taste of the weight of His desperation, not for Himself, but for His Bride, maybe dip a toe in the eternity of Heaven, maybe hear the hum of the infinite message of Life, true, unblemished, meaningful Life…

Certainly, from the corner of my eye, I will glimpse God.



Filed under Faith

15 responses to “The Magnitude of Heaven, The Trifle of Time

  1. sandra

    i’m ready too Jessie!

  2. I am incredibly envious of the fluency of your writing every time I read one of your pieces. Damn you can write. And math, too?

    I spotted the Cadsbury Eggs at the store last night and started drooling like Pavlov’s-dog.

    Confession: Based on seeing those delicious eggs in the store, I asked my wife if this Sunday was Easter. She said, “You’re kidding, right?” I said, “Of course I’m kidding.”

    I wasn’t kidding.

  3. Dad

    I love your writing! You really need to write a book Sweetheart!


  4. I’ve always been a believer who ignored lent. I was never catholic like so many folks I know. I like the way you explain the point of it though, about 40 days of focus. I like that. Nice job.

  5. Funny AND beautiful. And thought-provoking. And Cadbury eggs. Not a bad combination. Whatever you do, don’t give up writing for lent.

    We’d all be missing out…

  6. Cadbury eggs are criminally delicious, aren’t they? Spring usually marks the beginning of my all-Cadbury diet, though I suppose this “diet” wouldn’t exactly work for my Lenten sacrifice. Damn.

    • This one time, I decided I was going to give up chocolate for Lent. That lasted almost as long as it took for the Cadbury guy to stock the shelves at the grocery store. (I might have clothes-pinned him in my mad dash to grab a few basketfuls.)

      (That is not an entirely true story, in case you were wondering.)

  7. I’m with Dad: your writing is definitely strong enough to write a book.

    Growing up Lutheran, we really didn’t do the give-something-up thing (we just quoted Luther when we had that second beer (well, not really, but Luther does have some rambling writings about this). Still, I’ve given up things haphazardly as an adult. Two years ago, I stopped buying frivolous things during Lent (including meals out). This was partially an economic decision at the time, but was still challenging.

    This year, I’d decided to give up Chai Tea Lattes, but then I changed my mind when I realized that Chai brought me peace and awareness of the moment. So, as trivial as this sounds, this year I’m giving up a piece of punctuation: the ellipsis. I use them way too often (I had to delete one from this comment already). I’m going to post about this at my writing blog ( on Monday.

    If Jesus were dead, he’d be turning over in his grave.

    • “If Jesus were dead, he’d be turning over in his grave.” Hahahaha, you always make me laugh! And after reading your comment, now I’m wondering where that ellipses would have gone. I’m looking forward to reading your post about that stylish trifecta of dots.

      Thanks, Leanne.

  8. Pingback: The Aftermath « Meet the Buttrams

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