Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A New Lenten Discipline Found In Your Garage

Maybe I'm not the first person to create this Lenten practice. If I have unknowingly taken your idea, put the best spin on it and be flattered.

The benefits of Lenten discipline abound. Prayer stirs and calms the soul, fasting sharpens spiritual muscles, soup dinners craft a distinct simplicity, and worship redirects the heart.

For my disciplinary investment, no Lenten practice compares to hosting a garage sale or moving residences.

Nothing depicts personal failures or bad investments of resources quite like a garage sale or a move. True, a move or a garage sale provides a pruning of possessions, but as a Lenten discipline, these series of tasks go much deeper. It's not the same as a trip to the Goodwill. This kind of possession pruning is stealthily executed with a scant feeling of giving to the public good. As if the public is better off with the redistribution of my junk.

A garage sale or a move that involves groveling to friends for assistance is a wondrous conglomeration, a picture window revealing vanity, shame, interdependence, avarice, but also the hope of a clean slate. I gathered some friends this past weekend to help my family move, and there it was for all to see, much like a garage sale.

Come see my failed fitness program!
Come see what I haven't read, or couldn't fit on my body in my more optimistic days!
Come see my half-hearted attempt at a hobby!
Come see my fizzled-out work toward a collection!
Get any of it at a low, low, humiliatingly low price...in fact, I'm willing to give it to you if you would only help me rid my life of this...this...thing.
I may even PAY YOU to get this thing off of my hands!

Don't waste your time with the other Lenten disciplines. If you want a clearer view into your sinful nature, take on a garage sale or move. It will take you a good 40 days to get it all ready, you will see some of the darker side of your humanity, but on the other end, you'll see the clean slate that God had already made for you in Christ.

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