Lent is a great time to contemplate about the time scale God operates on. As I said in my previous post, our time frame isn’t God’s time frame. The way we look at time vastly differs from how God looks at
I think back to fasting on Ash Wednesday. To me, it felt like a long day because I had small meals with no snacks in between. Throughout the day I kept looking at my watch. Was it lunch yet? Was it dinner? When can I eat again? Should I go to bed so this day will end? When you’re hungry, time seems to slow down to an almost unbearable pace. But you know what? The day of fasting eventually came to an end. I woke up the next day and was fortunate enough to eat a satisfying breakfast.
I gave up alcohol for Lent. I’m not a big drinker but I do enjoy an ice cold beer on the weekend or a glass of red wine with dinner. So 40 days without a social cocktail seems like a long time. The wine bottles in my house will be taunting me until April 21. But I have to remember that it’s only 40 days. Much like fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Lent will pass and I’ll be able to enjoy my weekend bottle of beer again.
Throughout Lent, we can begin to understand the finite time frame we live in and the infinite one of God’s. Much like our Lenten sacrifices and fasts, this life will come to an end as well. And all our suffering, both minor and major, will be over. And then hopefully we’ll enter into eternity in Heaven. Our lives may seem like a long time to many of us especially if we want God to immediately answer our prayers or perform a miracle. But God does answer our prayers, even if the answer for many of us is, “wait until Heaven; you don’t have to wait long.”
Let’s look at the Rosary, particularly the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery. Picture Jesus carrying His cross. It must have seemed like an eternity of pain and suffering as He was whipped, beaten, and fell multiple times. The human side of Him must have wanted all that suffering to end instantly. But Jesus also understood that to God and His divine plan, Jesus’ suffering was ending instantly compared to the eternal majesty He would obtain in His resurrection and ascension into Heaven.
We may find ourselves feeling like we’re in a similar situation as Jesus carrying His cross. We may have challenges with our health, family, money, faith, or addictions. Relief never seems to come despite how hard we try and how much we pray. But God assures us that it will come to an end, even if it’s not in this life. We must remember that a lifetime of suffering is an instant compared to the eternal joy of Heaven. Like Jesus carrying His cross, we have to get back up and continue doing God’s will in this relatively short time we have in this life.
The 40 days of Lent may seem like a long time, especially if we’ve given up something that we really enjoy or taken up a practice that is hard to do. But let’s treat it as an opportunity to better understand how God works. Lent comes to an end in the joy of Easter. Just how joyful Easter feels depends on how hard we work on focusing on our faith during Lent. Think of Lent and Easter as a microcosm of life and eternity. Much like Lent, our lives will end. And it’s really not that long of a time we have so we must make the most of it. And when we do, we can enjoy living in God’s grace, both during Easter and in Heaven to come.