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.