What’s the one thing no one can avoid during Lent? This is something no atheist, no agnostic, no Christian, not even a Catholic can avoid during this time of year? Are you stumped? My answer is experiencing ‘static electricity.’ Yes, that’s right! I am talking about all the dry air at work or at home where our furnaces keep pumping out warmer and drier air which causes everything to be electrified!
You get up in the morning, throw off the bed sheets and all the static electricity in the air gives you one, big “Zap!” That’s a fine wake-up call if you ask me. You touch a light switch or turn a door knob or reach out for your car door and “Zap!” We are all shaken by the shock! At times even when I reach out to touch another person to simply give them God’s blessing or give someone communion during Mass there is that transfer of current that jolts both of us. Between you and me, I get pretty sick and tired of being surprised by all that.
As the old saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them,” so I have decided to incorporate this minor inconvenience, annoyance and sometimes irritating alarms into my Lent. How? Every time I get a shock I would try to view it as a constant reminder that “Yes,” this is Lent and that “Yes” I am being called to bear my share of the cross of Christ. “Offer it up,” as my mother used to say to me as a child, which often times made me feel like she didn’t care. In truth, she knew there was nothing she or I could do about it so she figured we might as well bring merit and meaning into our pain.
Every time I get a shock, I have decided to view it as a reminder to turn my mind and heart to God and repent. It’s not that God wants to punish us with lightning bolts from above; rather this is simply one of those laws of physics we Minnesotans have to live with. Electricity is a good thing, but sometimes it’s not so fun. And since I can’t avoid it anyway I am using mom’s advice and bringing that merit and meaning into my Lent as a reminder that “Yes,” this time of year is different from all the rest, as I hope to better prepare for Holy Week when the most shocking news of all is the resurrection of Christ! It’s amazing what a person will come up with to improve their life for God! That, my friends, is the shocking truth, at least for myself!