During my late twenties and early thirties, I worked at a gym. It was a fantastic job for me, particularly at that time in my life. My kids were small and leaving them with my husband a few times a week so I could have grown up conversation and make a little money was a nice break.
I worked a set schedule every week, so it didn’t take long to learn the routines of our members. On Monday mornings, I knew the arrogant swim coach would be standing at the door waiting for me to open the club. On Wednesday evenings, after 6 o’clock, the effervescent sleep doctor would smile his way in, all kindness and gratitude. On Fridays, the basketball boys would come in, as would the woman who always read a new library book on the recumbent bike for exactly 30 minutes.
Humans are creatures of habit. I learned this in motherhood, first and foremost, but seven years working at a gym reinforced this lesson all the more.
But as much as we humans like our routines, we also like a challenge. The annual challenge the gym hosted was more popular than the first two weeks of January, when resolution makers would pour in, pump iron in quantities beyond their capabilities, and then fizzle out. Why? Because the challenge was well-defined, short term, and with a little extra effort, it was achievable. Do the specified activity for a set number of days and you win the right to say you did the specified activity for a set number of days.
Routine is good for us. Challenges are good for us.
The season of Lent blends both, giving our souls 40 days to reset. We may slow down our faith routines or change them, or we may challenge ourselves to go without something so we can stretch our understanding of who God is and how to trust Him more. Lent is a challenge with more benefit than bragging rights. Because when I reflect on the love of Christ’s sacrifice and the hope of His resurrection, one thing becomes perfectly clear: the gospel is indeed Good News. I can’t sit still on it and do nothing. I have to respond with faith that moves, trusts, and shares. Always a challenge.
That’s where I’m at this season. I’m not wildly disobedient and I’m guessing you aren’t either, but sometimes my faith is tepid. Hesitant. I sit still too long, get stuck reflecting rather than moving. When I’m challenged to trust and take action, I want to accept that challenge every single time. So this is my prayer for Lent 2021:
“Lord, remind me You are enough. Remind me all You provide is enough. And remind me I am enough for the purposes You have planned for me.”
During Lent, we’ll take a look at the reasons why we sit still, the challenges that prevent our faith from moving, and ways to overcome these obstacles so we can live like we believe Christ’s love and salvation really are as extravagant as we say they are.
What routine or challenge have you committed to for Lent this year? Share it in the comments. And as always, One More Truth is for everyone, so if a post resonates, share it freely!