I remember coasting through my senior year of high school. I had already been accepted to the college I was planning to attend and the majority of my course load was either required or relatively easy. Senioritis had kicked in and was in full effect! But then there was my still 100% required English class. Though the class itself was not incredibly difficult nor was the classwork too burdensome, I had coasted a bit too long and a bit too far. Not-so-suddenly my grade dropped to the danger point of not being able to graduate. Yikes, talk about a wake-up call! A direct result of my laziness and thoroughly enjoying the fun of a socially active senior year left me in a precarious position. Fortunately, with a few extra assignments and a generous, albeit a bit wacky, English teacher, I was able to finish the year off strong. I passed the class and did not have to miss any of the graduation day festivities. There is great danger in coasting through things. We miss important events, overlook essential details, or we fall into an apathetic laziness that can have all sorts of ramifications for our lives.
This year, as the church season of Lent soon begins, we would do well to ensure we don’t miss the indispensable narrative of Jesus’ passion week. Lent is a season of 40 days where we take time, intentionally and meditatively, to zero in and reflect on the need for and preparations of Easter Sunday. We dare not coast through Lent. It could be an easy trap though, anxiously anticipating the victorious celebration of Easter without taking time for prayerful self-examination. That’s like celebrating the cure without acknowledging the severity of the disease. Our gratitude and excitement for Easter is more deeply appreciated when we take time to consider the brokenness brought on by our sin and the suffering of our Lord.
During the season of Lent, we see God putting back together a shattered world, and more importantly our shattered relationship with the Creator. We dare not miss this story because we’re too busy or distracted. We dare not overlook it because we’re having too much fun or spiritually slacking off. We dare not become so apathetic of despondent from COVID restrictions and wearisome limitations that we see Lent come and go without giving it any time or meditation.
Think of it this way… When driving a car, if I take my foot off the pedal, the car does not speed up. It doesn’t even maintain the same speed. Instead, from the very moment I take my foot off the accelerator, the car begins to slow down. Allowing the car to coast is inviting the car to stop. It may take some time, but left on its own, the car will stop eventually. It is inevitable. Before you know it, a long hill or unanticipated obstacle comes and you don’t have the momentum to move forward. This Lent I encourage you be intentional about not coasting in your relationship with Jesus. Lent is not a time for us to take the foot off the pedal, but to intentionally keep moving to Jesus. Find a resource, like this one here, to study and grow—grasping tightly to the incredible tools the Lord gives us in His Word and in worship to ensure our coasting doesn’t end in a complete spiritual stop!