For Christmas, I asked for a Fitbit fitness tracker. A friend had told me about how motivated she was to get more active once she started wearing one, how rewarding it felt when the bracelet buzzed at 10,000 steps.
Sounds good to me, I thought. I could use some help and motivation. I put on the bracelet, thinking “I’m a pretty active person – I wonder what my baseline is?” Then came the truth – 3000 steps was all! I wasn’t nearly as active as I had imagined myself to be. I could no longer fool myself into thinking things “weren’t so bad after all.” I really did need to turn things around.
In a way, the church season of Lent is like a spiritual fitness tracker. We begin on Ash Wednesday by facing the truth of our lives – we are dust and to dust we will return. Our lives are broken by sin.
And the amazing gift is that when we face the truth, acknowledge our sin, stop denying and pretending we’ve got it all under control, that’s when change becomes possible. That’s when God in Christ breaks open our hardened hearts with a word of love and grace that brings new life, new possibility, resurrection.
I invite you to consider this Lent as a time of growing in your spiritual fitness – not to make God love you any more, but BECAUSE God loves you and wants you to know the fullness of life and wholeness in union with Christ.
Prayer, fasting, almsgiving – these are the disciplines, the spiritual fitness program of Lent.
Or, another way of putting it, Lent’s spiritual fitness is in giving – giving up (fasting); giving over (prayer); and giving away (acts of charity and justice).
So, in addition to my Fitbit, this Lent I’m going to be checking my “Faithbit,” trusting that where God guides, God provides. Will you join me?