The Gospel of Matthew 4:1-2:
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights.”
My Lenten “desert” begins, as it does for others, stepping back–to take stock of my life. It will be as Matthew 6:6 recommends, “But when you pray, go to your upper room, close the door, and pray to your God in secret…” In an atmosphere of Lenten solitude, I lay my cards on the table and resolve to get in touch with my personal center for a sorting out. In solidarity with Jesus in the wilderness, I, too, am moved by the Spirit and ministered by God’s presence.
In Genesis, we read that Adam and Eve run for covering as they realized the muddle they’d made countering God’s Wisdom. Where they sought cover in their shame, this Lent I seek to expose– personal habits which block a healthy face-to-face with myself, as well as with God. Preoccupation with to-do lists, emails, cable news, and TV need some stripping down. Shaking off biases and judgmental thoughts, I will approach God Who calls, “Where are you? God knows I am here, admitting I have few answers. Lent nudges us to utter words of helplessness and to trust.
Matthew concludes, “…your God who sees in secret will repay you.” Whatever transformation God has in store for me, there will be fewer obstacles shading my light.