Lent is coming up quickly! Today, Mardi Gras (one of my favorite celebration days), and BAM! Ash Wednesday!
This morning, I was browsing through the interwebs as I normally do: e-mail, Facebook, etc., and came across a new blog post by one of my friends, Shauna, where she talks about her plan for personal growth during Lent. She talks about how many people desire external things to change, but rarely seek to facilitate the change they want internally.
Another friend of mine, Ryan, likes to grow bonsai. It made me think of the care, persistence, vision and continual revision that is necessary for a good result. You first need to evaluate the plant as it is to see what you have to work with. Then, you need a vision of what you would like the plant to look like, both in the long-term, as well as changes that can be made in a short amount of time. Then is the work of daily diligence, where you apply tools and helps to encourage the plant to grow according to your vision. And there must always be times for evaluation — to see how well your plans are going and to change the course if necessary.
We are much the same way. We all want to be great, to do great things and to be good people. But — honestly — how many of us put in that due diligence to make it happen?
The goal of Lent is to come out of it looking more like Christ than when we started. So we have a vision, of sorts. We need to personalize it so that it reflects how *I* and how *you* will look more like Christ at the end. Then, we need a plan. Hopefully, you’ve been praying about what you might want to prune away from yourself during these grace-filled days. If not, there’s no better time than now to start!
As we go through Lent, carve away some time during your day or week where you can do something of an Examen — an evaluation of how you are doing regarding your plans and your vision for yourself and make adjustments as needed.
For me, one of the things I will be doing is joining Shauna in her 40 Days of Change. I will attempt to do one thing each day that I rarely/never do which will help me in growing closer in conformity to Christ. And I will (try to!) blog about this each day. 🙂 With God’s grace, I will be successful in pruning undesirable aspects of myself and promoting the growth of that which is good and beautiful.
Please walk with me during this process. Encouragement is always needed and so much appreciated!