I like to walk down at my local Riverwalk. I like the easy loop, fresh air, a little people watching and the water. Well, once a year, they drain it for cleaning out the mud and other debris that had accumulated. It looked well, ugly. As I walked the loop, it reminded me of the upcoming Lenten season. We are called to reflect, to take inventory of our lives, and prepare ourselves for Easter. What hit me as I walked was: we are called to drain out our old worldly selves, confess our sins (the mud) and to put on Christ (fresh baptismal water).
The time of Lent is to remind us about the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, which was a time of preparation for him for His ministry. I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly like the times of wilderness. It’s uncomfortable, ugly, lonely at times, painful, challenging and I could go on. But, like Jesus in the wilderness, we can make it through with God by our side. God has seen all our ugliness, our sins (mud), and if we seek Him, he can make us beautiful. Like a caterpillar who has to go through the cocoon to become a butterfly.
In a Bible study I have been attending, we have been going through the Old Testament and we read over and over how the Jewish people would forget to seek God and go to the worldly idols. Their idols included things made of wood and gold, but could be anything that took priority over God.
So why do we do this every year? Well, actually, we should do this every day of the year: seek God. These specific times of the Christian year are to help remind us that, even though we don’t have to make sacrifices for our sins, we can take our gift of salvation for granted. The mud stays hidden until we are willing to clean our hearts of sinful thoughts and actions and everything that separates us from the grace of God. This Lenten season, I challenge you (and myself) to get rid of any mud that’s been hidden for a day, year, lifetime, and seek Jesus.