Our basement at home accommodates more stuff than I would like to admit. Recently, my three precious grandchildren came for a visit, and I realized I had some toys they hadn’t played with yet. They are all old enough now for these toys, past babyhood so that small pieces will not make their way into small mouths. The toys, all saved from my children’s childhood, are various action figures such as G.I Joes, sports figures, and a bag full of miscellaneous toy cars. As my grandchildren emptied the containers on the living room floor, my sons (their fathers), bounded to the pile and began “playing” and reminiscing about their childhood toys. It was delightful to see!
Several of the cars are “transformers.” These toys, offered to children in the 80s, are popular still today and have been made into a television series and action movies for children over the years. I am not promoting the toys or movies, but I know the premise is something like this. The transformers are ordinary looking vehicles with appendages underneath which may be transformed physically into robotic beings. There are good transformers and evil ones, so the battle is the age-old one of good trying to prevail over evil.
During the season of Lent, we pay closer attention to the areas we need transforming. Most of us look like ordinary folks, but often underneath our exterior, just like the vehicles that appear pretty regular on the outside, we are in need of some form of transformation. And, even though we attempt to change our habits, attitudes, or viewpoints that get in the way of our relationships with God or others, we can often breathe a sigh of relief on Easter Sunday that our Lenten journey is completed. We prayed more. We sacrificed by giving up something we like to eat or drink. We volunteered for, or donated money to, charities in need. We went to confession and attended Lenten spiritual opportunities. All very good Lenten practices.
What if this Lent we tried to focus on one area we are in need of transforming? Maybe it has to do with improving a broken or damaged relationship with a family member or friend. Our need might be an attitude such as worry, anger, or resentment. Do we need to work on an addiction to food, substances, pornography, or gambling? This might just be the time God is nudging us to seek the professional help we need to lead a healthy life; to transform us into the people God intends us to be for all of our days, not just in Lent. So, how do we begin?
Instead of prayer being the last resort, let it be the first. Call on the Holy Spirit to guide you in your transformation. Pray frequently for the guidance and courage to attempt a real change. Trust in God’s answer but don’t turn it into an obsession. Believe you can change. If you fail on any given day, start anew. Never give up because real change takes time. Read God’s Word, the Bible, where He speaks directly to you. God is on your side. He wants all of His children to be happy. He wants all His children to be close to Him. He loves each of us. Seek professional help or help from a friend if necessary. If you know someone who is in great need of a transformation, encourage them and pray that they too, may be transformed, not just for this Lenten journey, but for all the journeys of their life.
Change our hearts this time. Your Word says it can be!