By Micah Groves
For as long as I can remember, this time of year has been difficult for me. The shorter days, limited sunlight and colder weather are not friends to individuals who deal with, or have dealt with, issues of depression and anxiety. On top of that, it seems like just about everything that has ever gone wrong in my life has happened during the month of February.
As a freshman in high school, my family lost our home to a house fire during this month. As a freshman in college, our family lost my grandfather during the month of February. My biggest battle with the aforementioned mental health issues culminated during, you guessed it, February.
So, the lead up to and journey through Lent is always an interesting time for me. For goodness sake, we start it off with Ash Wednesday when we are reminded of our mortality and the fact that one day we will in fact return to the dust from which we were made. Happy Ash Wednesday Everyone!
Like many people, Lent has mostly been a time when I’ve focused on things and emotions such as sadness, guilt, suffering, pain, sacrifice, betrayal, denial, discomfort, and death leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. Like many people, I have often committed to the practice of giving something up for the duration of Lent in order to help myself focus on this holy season.
In thinking through the lead up to Lent this year though, I’ve began to consider taking a bit of a different attitude and perspective.
I am still committing to giving up/sacrificing something in a meaningful way during the next six weeks, but I am also making a conscious effort to maintain a perspective that includes the promise of Christ’s resurrection. I am approaching Lent this year by including in my sacrifices, an attempt to practice what life with the hope of the resurrection might look like on a day-to-day basis. I am committing to working toward God’s reality in the here and now, and not only in God’s promised future.
I think Lent is ultimately supposed to be a difficult time. But I also think remembering God’s love, grace, and promise will help us as we walk down the difficult road leading to crucifixion, and into the ultimate gift of resurrection.
Grace and Peace.
Micah Groves is a CBF Leadership Scholar and is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity from Central Baptist Theological Seminary. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from East Central University and currently serves as a Deacon at Northwest Baptist Church in Ardmore, Oklahoma, as well as an Officer on the CBF Oklahoma Coordinating Council.