By Carol Brown
On Ash Wednesday, I gathered the four and five-year-olds around me and began a lesson on Lent. I wanted them to understand that the Season of Lent is a time to think about Jesus and how much He loves us. I wanted them to know that for the next 40 days we would be talking about and thinking about Jesus' sacrifices. But before I could get a good start on the lesson, the distractions began.
When I told the children that this was the first day of Lent, one child immediately said, "And tomorrow is Valentine's Day!" Then another child remembered an important point, and added, "My mama is in Waco." Well, apparently "Waco" sounded like "Lego," because another child needed to tell us, "I've been to Legoland and it was fun!" And so it goes when you try to talk to four and five-year-olds about Lent.
But preschoolers are not the only ones who get distracted during the Season of Lent. Most of us would rather focus our attention on holidays that include flowers and chocolates, or theme parks with rides and shows, or even work-related trips to Waco, Texas. Most of the distractions of everyday life seem more attractive than the focus of Lent - the dark days leading up to Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross.
While it's true that Lent is a time to think about Jesus' suffering and death, it is also a time to think carefully about our own relationship with God. We often get bogged down in the suffering and sacrifice part of Lent and forget about focusing on our relationship with God. So as I journey through the busy days ahead, I will try not to be so distracted by life that I forget that the Season of Lent is about keeping my focus on God and God's sacrificial love for each of us.