Parenting is funny. Growing up is funnier. We spend years teaching children to think for themselves and be problem solvers. We encourage them to find the rhythm of their own drum. But do we remember to show them the beauty and freedom of obedience? Do we teach them that there will be times when they will have to trust God with all their heart, and not themselves?
How many of us like to be corrected? Like to be redirected? Like to be told what to do? There comes an age when, truth be told, we become very uncomfortable when someone tells us what to do. We are already set... hardened... cured.
But Lent is all about changing that. Lent is about softening ourselves enough that we can be adjusted, put back to right, re-learn to trust with all our hearts and be obedient to God.
The best way for me to describe it is with a construction analogy. In my experience, I have found that we establish a foundation of truths, how we define God, and ways that the world works for us. It is a foundation that can carry the weight of our childhood, adolescence... maybe even young adulthood. If we are smart, we keep reworking the base to adjust to our changes in life. We adjust it by growing in our faith. We adjust it by growing in our relationships. We adjust it by growing in our knowledge of God.
Maybe a truth or relationship part of the foundation was appropriate for a time, but now that we are older, the foundation needs to be tweaked.
But if we pour the cement too soon, or get too comfortable, we become stifled. We forget that this foundation is one that has to constantly be rebuilt so that it can grow with us. The more complicated life gets, the more precise the foundation needs to be and so adjustments are made.
Lent is the time we stop and check our beams, anchors, braces. Lent is the time we check to see if we've outgrown our foundation.
Our cement was never meant to be poured till our time for repentance has passed. So if you are still breathing, you are still under construction.
It's time to find a good appraiser (spiritual father) and check to see if your foundations are up to code. :).