Red-Light Lent

For weeks we’re bombarded with messages about preparing ourselves for Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Easter. Maybe you really enjoy the Mardi Gras party, but you’re still not quite sure what all this noise is about fasting, giving, and praying.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a perceived pressure to be perfect in your faith. Instead of thinking it’s all too much to do and not do anything, take courage to make a small hesitant step toward something more. Use this time to honestly examine where you are on your very personal path to Christ. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be open to a change of heart, to let something be set in motion within yourself.

My biggest obstacle is that I don’t think I have the time to devote to intense prayer. Then my pastor shared with us how he prayed that that we would all be able to find time to be still and know Christ’s love. He knows that many in his Parish are constantly busy with our jobs and families, but he prayed that we’d be able to find even 30 seconds or a minute in each day.

That afternoon, while driving from the church to Home Depot, he heard God speak to him. God said He has given each of us ample opportunities for short moments of prayer. And so our Pastor invited all of us to have a “red light lent” – that is every time you stop at a red light, use that 30 seconds or minute to be still in prayer with God. It doesn’t take a lot of time to be still and think about God. We don’t have to put it off until we make time. God gives us time, even waiting at a red light.

I invite each of you to use this year’s Lenten season to come to God, to know Him better, to learn more, or even to take a step in return to the church. Let others be your guide; let them be ambassadors to Christ. Things that are difficult bring the greatest reward. Lent gives us that opportunity to return to God with all our heart so that on Easter morning we emerge a changed person.


Shelly Henley Kelly