I began thinking about Lent first thing this morning. First thing in the morning on a weekday for me is at 5:30 A.M., and it’s a small miracle that I’m thinking at all at that time of the day. Still, thinking I was, and soon I was thinking about what I would write for my blog about Lent, and then all of a sudden it hit me: I was thinking more about blogging about Lent than I was thinking about Lent!
What the heck is up with that? My mind turned quickly to C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters” and I had a vision of some junior tempter whispering into my ear and telling me about how glorious and spiritual my writing is, thereby intoxicating me with an image of thousands of readers being blown away by the literary grandeur of my divinely inspired musings on Lent. I can hear this junior tempter’s veteran tempter Uncle Screwtape now: “If the patient (me) begins to turn his attention to God, all is not yet lost. Puff him up with pride over how wonderful his spiritual insights are, or get him to focus on what a a great writer he is. Remember, the more he fills his puny little mind with himself the less room he has to fill it with God. Soon enough we’ll be serving him up with other baffled and terrified little beasts at our demon’s banquet down Here Below”.
I suppose that it could be like that, but I don’t really know. There may indeed be a tempter resting on my shoulder leading me towards exalted visions of myself and away from the majesty of God, but I don’t really think that there has to be. My own pride and vanity are more than sufficient to incline my thoughts me-ward instead of God-ward.
No, I don’t really think that it was a demon leading me to a false pride in myself. Instead i think it’s more likely that the Holy Spirit was whispering into my ear, reminding me that Lent is not about me or my blog, but instead is about the God of the universe. I suppose it could be a little bit of both views, with the guy in the red suit with a pitchfork on my left shoulder and the guy (or lady) with wings and a halo on my right. If that is the case I would hasten to point out that it is not an equal match. The guy with the wings has more power than the guy with the pitchfork, hands down. The only way that Old Pitchfork can win this one is if I help him out, to my own destruction.
So my mind was turned back to lent and the God of whom Lent is about. I have not meditated on God or prayed very much today. Work is completely out of control and most of my attention was being paid to the problem of survival! I did feel a pull to give thanks however, and that is what I have been doing today. Thanks for health, thanks for work, thanks for God’s presence in my life, thanks for my wife, my children, and all of the many other blessings that I frequently overlook in the mad rush of life.
Tonight I will finish my evening by opening the book by God, instead of a book about God. In this book I will read something which God wants me to read, and for that I give Him my thanks once again.