Every year the story is the same.
Daylight savings time has once again reared its ugly head. We have all effectively ‘lost’ an hour of sleep and for some people they are still trying to recover and adjust to this new schedule. While this happens every year, it seems like we are always surprised when it comes around. News stories and conversations are held on the effects of losing that one hour of sleep; people exclaim that Congress should do away with this antiquated practice to normalize our sleep patterns and outdoor activities. Many places around the world and even here in the United States have abolished this practice, but here in Houston, we observe it.
How fitting is it that this year the practice of ‘giving up’ an hour falls during the time of Lent? Lent, the time in the Christian calendar, where we journey with Christ to that fateful day in Jerusalem where he was crucified. Many people during this time give up something that is meaningful or a part of their everyday life. So as they go about their day and remember they are giving something up they are reminded of what Christ gave up for them.
One year I gave up caffeine for Lent; this one particular year I did not plan well enough and the church had scheduled a ski/mission trip during the beginning of Lent. It was quite possibly the worst time to give up my morning cup of joe. We traveled 12 hours to our first stopping point and I remember thinking that I had made the biggest mistake by giving up caffeine. I was tired and run down, not from the lack of caffeine but because of the stress of travel and organizing a big church trip. But as I reflected on what Lent meant, I began to remember where we were headed.
All Christians during the time of Lent are going to the Cross with Jesus.
We can not avoid it, we can skip over that section in the story, if we do we can miss the meaning found in the time of Lent. Lent is more than just ‘giving up’ things, it is a call to refocus and reorient our lives. Lent reminds us to pause, reflect, search and wait. We know what lies ahead; we know the end result, we long to hear the angels shout “Hallelujah!” But, we have to wait.
As we continue to go through Lent, may we be focused on the journey and the process not in what we are ‘giving up’ or leaving behind.
Rev. Evan M. Dolive