Lent in everyday language. Day Seven.

God Save Us

Someone asked me a very good question about Lent. I realize that in an effort to keep things very simple over here, I may have been too vague about how I am setting up this Lent Examen. Here are some simple guidelines that are in no way meant to control or stifle you, but perhaps will be helpful:

  1. the examen has been likened to rummaging through the contents of the last 24 hours like you would through a messy drawer. notice what is inside, what emotions and responses come about for you.
  2. if you were to attempt this practice at night in review of the day that was just before you, you would miss that opportunity to see how your dreams might speak to you, how the space between the actual event and your response to it has helped you to be a bit more objective. there is something about reviewing the previous 24 hours in the morning that seems to work
  3. the idea of examen is to look back SO THAT we can look forward. i have not included this step formally, but some suggest bringing out your calendar planner after the prayers of examen in order to make some suggestions to your future self.
  4. for more in depth and helpful resources, I recommend the Ignatian Spirituality site for a truly informative and enjoyable read on just about every spiritual topic you desire (including a little video about Lent and the Examen just posted today. perfect)

Examen

1. Where do you notice God saving you today?

Our faith community engaged in the topic of salvation on Sunday. It was another look at a word that we can tend to gloss over in our Christian circles and ignore if we haven’t made the decision to let God save us. I have been trying to formulate what about this message was really affecting me and it came to me clearly at last. God has saved me from my need to live life on my own terms. Specifically, Jesus Christ stands ready to be the Lord and Leader and Guide for my life if I will agree with Him.  Even as I reflect on the day, God is saving me from having to figure out the whole of my financial future with His promise to never leave me or forget about my needs.  In the daily question “How will we pay for this?” God has shown our family a better way, a wiser way, a more peaceful way… because I have given God the full authority to be in charge of how He will distribute our finances to us. Only in a truly surrendered state of being like this one will we see how much we need Jesus to save us from the messes we have made.

2. Where do you need God to save you today?

Instead of thinking of salvation as a one-time event where we are magically transported from a state of imperfection into a state of perfection, we engaged on Sunday with the idea that salvation has to do with our orientation- where we are focusing our attention. I notice that my attention with my daughters lately has been to offer friendship suggestions based on my experience or what I observe in girl friendships in their life.  I need God to save me from my desire to protect them and offer these young girls into the all-knowing, all-comforting arms of God. When I try to protect them, it is messy and emotional. I don’t listen to them because I think I already have the answers.  I need God to save me from trying to control them and instead point them to the only One who can- Jesus!

How do you need God to save you today? How do these questions help you notice your need for God?