Saturday, April 19, 2014

Reflecting on Lent

I was in Dallas for a weekend over lent. Being tired and hungry at the end of one day, I purchased a Mocha Frappacino from Starbucks. I told myself that it wasn't really coffee, so I wasn't really breaking lent.... And honestly, I felt like an ungrateful teenager even talking to myself that way.

The next weekend David and I flew to Arizona to celebrate a wedding. On the way, while we sat at our connecting gate, I considered the day ahead... the activities, the visiting, the celebrating, and the hours left of travel that would still need to occur before the activities and visiting and celebrating started. I looked at the Starbucks right there across from our gate, and without praying, without any reverence for the decision I had made to go without coffee during the period of lent, I ordered a double shot of espresso over ice. I drank it fast. It's bitter taste causing my eyes to squint and lips to purse. I didn't even let myself feel convicted about blatantly choosing to drink coffee during lent. I threw the plastic cup away and boarded the plane to Arizona.

The next weekend we were in Auburn eating lunch at my in-laws while we waited for my sister-in-law's boyfriend to pop a very important question. I was tired. It had been a VERY long morning traveling. The Keurig sat on the counter. This time, I considered my decision. I felt weak, and my head was starting to hurt. I brewed the coffee, added creamer, and slowly began to drink. With each sip, the guilt began to sink in.

Dallas.

Airport.

Now.

I went inside and poured the remaining coffee down the sink.

The caffeine did it's job. I perked up, but I was still aware of my weakness.

When we landed back in Little Rock the following day, we walked past the Starbucks in the airport. I whispered to David, "I'm so grateful our salvation isn't based on works. Because, if it was, I would definitely go to Hell."

David softly reassured me, "We all would, Lindsay."

So, as the season of lent ends, I rest even though I'm weak, not because I am.

I rest in the assurance that it is purely Grace that made a way for me to spend eternity in Paradise.

I rest in the forgiveness our Maker offers us in Jesus.

I rest knowing that we all need Jesus just as badly as the next person and every person. Whether it's the Mocha Frappacino sin or the double shot of espresso sin, both would keep us separated from God if it weren't for Jesus' sacrifice.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Happy Easter, everyone.

He is RISEN!