Lent and Jesus
In this season of Lent, it makes sense to ponder some of Jesus’ characteristics. I am especially thinking of Jesus being 1) very focused, and 2) being given entirely to loving people. I am not prepared to identify the degree to which we mere humans can emulate Jesus’ love and His focus. Furthermore, I am not even able to identify the degree to which I emulate Jesus. But, I am prepared to say that not recognizing the role of love and focus in Jesus is a serious mistake.
Being loved is a beautiful experience. Loving someone else is also a beautiful experience. Are the experiences of being loved and of loving others always easy, a walk in the garden of pleasure, or a high five congratulatory event? Of course not. To put the well being of the other above our own well being can be very costly. It might cost us a night’s sleep. It might cost us some of the reputation we have so meticulously nourished. It might even cost us some employment opportunities. It may cost us our life. Nonetheless, when the well being of someone else is at stake, the loving person says, “Yes, I can and I will surrender my well being for their sake.” This self-surrender is not a quid pro quo transaction. It is not a negotiation technique. It is not an image stunt. It is not an investment maneuver. Love is as Jesus lived. Love is as Jesus died.
And, Jesus was focused. His completely focused life was not a case of mistaken values. His being focused was not a mental illness. Nor, was it a result of bad theology. He was not entirely focused because He misunderstood Father God, or because He had a sick Messianic complex. He wasn’t completely focused out of jealousy for the Roman court’s opulence or their power.
The fact is that Father God had given Jesus a task to do, and the task was so absolutely essential for human wellbeing that Jesus would not deviate from its completion, be it by action, attitude, or values.
That kind of approach to life, to duty, to thoroughness, to intense connection to Father God, to personal relationships – all put Jesus in a unique position. His single mindedly focused dedication was essential for Jesus. Long Live His Uniqueness!!
May our Lenten season be, among other things, a time to consciously meditate on the loving and focused Jesus.