It seems like I'm losing control. Growing closer to my girlfriend has revealed that highly critical and judgmental thought patterns reign in me. And quiet little selfish habits that I thought hurt no one are now hurting her.
I think Lent is meant to reveal things like this too. And if we let it do its work, it begins to break these things down so that we can surrender them.
Throughout this process, God has led me to a couple scriptures that have to do with becoming complete. You heard me say a couple weeks ago how James 1 says endurance through hard times makes us mature and complete. 2 Corinthians talks about taking every thought captive so that we will be complete in obedience. 1 Peter 2 says rid yourself of all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander and instead crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow mature. I have so far to go. I feel like confronting these sins has felt like a breaking down of my self, and I feel so far from being mature and complete.
Also a couple weeks ago I told a story of a caterpillar. Well, I looked a little more into caterpillars. Caterpillars are built to EAT. To consume. But when it is time for this creature to do something generous, pollinate the world and reproduce it has to begin a change. Basically when it is time for the caterpillar to stop thinking about itself, it must be destroyed; in his cocoon, almost everything is liquified. It turns into a mess. About like I feel right now. Maybe you started feeling this way as lent caught up to you.
Trying to give up things during Lent is meant to do this to us too. Taking away what we consume shows us how reliant on our selfish pleasures we are. Selfish areas God intends to melt down and refine in us.
Well, as everything is liquified a couple things remain: a caterpillar's nervous system (basically its inner-most self) and these things called "Imaginal Discs."
These imaginal discs are amazing. And I am beginning to think of them as those separate areas of my life that God aims to make complete. What might those be for you? Certain habits? Ways of thinking? Each imaginal disc is one cell that will multiply thousands of times to become one entire body part, a wing or leg or abdomen. And they float around in the old caterpillar's liquifying body parts until it is time to connect and make a complete butterfly.
I feel like this! I feel like my insides are sometimes Just a swirling destructive liquid. And I think lent is maybe supposed to feel like this. But it's caused me to lean deeper into the work God is doing in me. Maybe the next time you see me, I'll have wings. :)
But I think God has placed imaginal discs inside of us and he wants to make each one complete. Mature and complete.
Maybe this is the purpose of Lent. As we give up things and consider our fallibility, it gives God a place to reorganize and regenerate parts of our life into something better.