Tim Bohlke » // writings

Holding Tight

I have never really bought into this Lent thing. I am not sure I understand the roots of it, or even the why, so as a result I guess I just have not taken it seriously.

When I was a kid my parents would ask me what I wanted to give up for Lent. The only specific memory I have was deciding to give up orange juice one year. Citrus was and is likely my favorite food group on the planet, so maybe I developed a bad attitude toward Lent because of that. To me, Lent has always seemed to be a formulaic, inauthentic, performance-driven, and rigid practice of religion, so I really have written it off and just have not given it much thought.

But this morning I was reading in the Message. Jesus is talking about how useless a grain of wheat is unless it dies. Unless it is buried it cannot actually come to life and multiple itself. Only then does it become truly valuable. John 12:25 says, “In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is, destroys that life. But if you let go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”

What struck me about that whole story was the “holding onto life” part. If we hold onto life too tightly we can really destroy it. If we hold something too tightly, we can quench its growth, suffocate it, even kill it.

Now a lot of things come to mind here, and it does raise some questions: What am I holding to tightly ? Where do I need to loosen my grip ? Is fear driving me to hold something too tightly, and could I be restricting some needed growth as a result? The  thought that I can control something and dictate the outcome by keeping my grip tight is a fallacy. I can think of a lot of examples of how I have made things worse by holding on too tightly. So I am going to journal some on these questions this week.  Maybe you should join me.

There could be something to this Lent season after all.


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