I’m never ready for a time change. The one in the fall is easier to live with—an extra hour of sleep or an opportunity to re-live an hour (if we’re night owls) so we can get that one moment right. Falling back is awesome. But in early March, the opposite happens. We actually lose time. In fact, I lose more than just an hour. I spend the entire Saturday before the time change lamenting my upcoming loss of sleep. And then I spend all night worried that my alarm clock will not go off and I’ll wake up after church has already started. When I spring forward in March, I don’t spring forward joyfully. I feel more like I’m being launched, unwillingly, into a future I’m not exactly ready for.
Being launched into a future we’re not ready for is a good foundation for Lent. Lent is a time for prayer, reflection, fasting and repenting. But why? I think one answer is because we don’t know exactly what tomorrow will bring. We don’t know what adventure we’ll be called to embrace. We don’t know if some crisis will arise that changes who we are and what we know. We don’t know if tomorrow will be different or if tomorrow will feel just like today. And even though we might feel confident today, there’s no way we are ever truly prepared for all the possibilities of what tomorrow can bring.
But Lent is an opportunity to more fully experience one part of who we are. We are God’s. We are Christ’s. We don’t know what we’ll be asked to spring forward into but we do know that, no matter what, Jesus is there with us. Lent is usually called as a time to repent. But repenting is more than just feeling sorry for doing something wrong. Repent is really about turning back towards God. When we repent, we turn away from where we think we should go and, instead, turn back towards the promises of God that are ours to begin with. When we turn back, we look forward into God’s future which has a place for all of us. Spring forward by springing back into God and live into that love that God gives us every day.