Lent is the annual anniversary of asking ourselves, “Who’s The Boss?” Over the next several posts, we will examine the different areas of our lives where we need to ask this question. What does your boss look like?
Under The Surface
For most Orthodox Christians, it may appear that the only changes during Lent are more services and less meat. However, there is a lot more going on, similar to looking at an organism under the microscope. On the surface we are called to “hide our fasting” Matthew 6:16. This means that under the surface, beneath the tip of the iceberg, there should be a lot going on. There should be an internal fight. The winner of that internal fight is the boss.
Gaining Control In Lent
Lent is a gift to help us understand who’s in charge. Sadly, a lot of us are okay with not being in charge of our own lives. Maybe that hamburger is the boss, or cheese is in charge. For others the boss may be resentment or money. These items are not evil, but they should not be the boss of us.
Lent provides a task you can do. Some will only fast from meat because that is all they can do right now. While others may fast from meat and oil, while others will struggle with cheese. The church knows that we are different people on different paths heading to the same place. One of my favorite quotes about the Orthodox Church is this, “The Orthodox Church has high expectations and high mercy.” It is easy to have high expectations, but did you know there is an abundant amount of mercy available to all of us. Mercy is there to help us when we mess up. It is also there to help us recover from losing control and keep trying to be the boss.
Lent is a spiritual marathon, and Pascha is our finish line. I have run a marathon. At the end, it was sheer will power which carried me on. Without control of my will, I would not have finished. For the last eight miles I was the boss of my body. So we will begin Lent this way, by asking “Who’s the boss of you?” After you are the boss, only then can you submit to God’s will.