We’re halfway through the Lenten season, the period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter. The Lectio 365 meditations refer to Lent as a bright/sad season.

It is a season that is bright as we look forward to Jesus’ resurrection, showing He kept His eternal promise to us. It reminds us we have new life here on earth, committed to Him and living in His grace. But it is also a sad season as we remember what Christ endured on the cross for us and why His sacrifice was necessary.

Lent looks different for each of us; we observe and prepare in individual ways. Some fast or abstain from certain foods or recreational activities to remember Christ’s sacrifice. Our sacrifices may be hard because we hold on to them tightly. Though our small uncomfortable sacrifices pale in comparison to His, they serve as reminders.

Others spend more time in prayer and Bible reading to connect with God on a deeper level. We often choose themed meditations and devotionals with a Lenten focus, pointing us to our weak places and need for heart transformation.

But regardless of our approach and choices, I’ve asked myself if I’m a back seat passenger that takes in the view with familiarity-as if I’m along for the ride in what I’m reading and have been on this trip many times. Like dozing off, maybe I forget what I’ve read and seen. It’s like saying to a driver, “Right, I know that Bible verse. That was a great devotional. Glad I’m doing it again.”  Or, the familiarity leads us to read quickly and skip over a potentially new insight. 

Maybe we approach our day as successful, thankful we were able to resist the sweet dessert, or got along without scrolling through social media. We settled comfortably in the back seat without much change in scenery. Sometimes backseat drivers are thankful for the rest stop and a comfortable Bible passage, where they can get out stretch their legs and then settle in again for a nap.

What about the other option-sitting in the front seat, engaged in the Word, and seeking a changed heart, mind, and life? Front seat passengers are often those who talk with the driver. They’re more involved on the trip, consulting maps and looking for signs. They have a wide view through the windshield.

  • Consulting maps: reading the Scriptures and prayer.
  • Looking for signs: making individual applications. What is God saying to me? Turns, stops, detours, lane change, confession?
  • Taking in the wide view: what does God want me to know about Him?

In his Lenten devotional, Journey to the Cross, Paul David Tripp makes many profound statements, but one really spoke to me. Am I blind to my spiritual blindness? What am I not seeing that is critical for life change?

I couldn’t answer those questions without moving from the back seat to the front. I was reminded of David, a front seat passenger who prayed for answers to those questions in Psalm 25:4-5 NIV:

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

What about you? What are your thoughts about being a back seat or a front seat passenger, not just during Lent, but any time in your meditations and Bible reading? Have you had an “aha” moment on your Lenten journey? Share with us.

If you want to go further, (in) courage, a Dayspring Community offers a beautiful Lenten prayer. You can access it here. 


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