Lent 2017: Reality

Lent: Day 30 of 40
Name: Yuhan Bae
Lenten Commitment: Broaden my perspective.

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When we think about Lent, we think about giving up something like junk food or watching tv or limiting the time on our phones. And yes, giving up these things is good. But these are just surface level symptoms of a deeper issue.

Eating junk food, using our phones, and watching tv distract us from other things that are happening in our world that we don’t want to deal with.

So first, I thought about giving up something bigger. I thought about giving up jealousy, pride, narcissism, hate. But I was not sure how I would go about doing that.

So I thought about my town, Ardsley: a rich, sheltered town that only cared little about anything beyond its borders. Throughout all of my academic life, I was brought up in this bubble. It was all I knew and I was comfortable in it. It was my reality.

But after this past election, I started contemplating about that. Maybe there is more than what I have grown up knowing in Ardsley. So I sought out to give up something big, in order to gain something bigger.

I gave up my “tunnel vision.” When we are in our own bubbles, we think of the worst possibilities, the best outcomes and everything in between. We complicate things and indulge ourselves in the little things.

I was going to broaden my vision by looking at news sources that would be more eye opening to world events beyond the town of Ardsley. News outlets whose goals are to try to uncover the world little by little. I wanted to see what humanity was dealing with outside of my little bubble, good and bad.

I read about the possible hacking scandals by the Russian government; I saw real North Korean threats; I saw mass riots in Ukraine because of a corrupt government; I saw the Chinese building islands in the South China Sea to gain total control of it and breaking international law with no retaliatory response.

On a large scale, these helped me realize that the world really is a terrible place, but there is hope. If we translate that into Christian terms, sin is very present and is wrecking humanity all over the world, but there is a light, a savior, a Messiah.

Sin tries to keep us focused on only ourselves, to make money for ourselves, to do well in school for ourselves. We even help other people for our own recognition.

Everything is for ourselves. So how can we get out of this deadly cycle?

We all know the answer to that: we pray and take action. Our sin causes us to focus only on ourselves and takes away our desperation for God. We do not see the the pain, sorrow, and devastation the world is truly in. We turn our heads away because it is easier to live in our bubble.

But Jesus does not do that. Christ shows compassion for His people. Through this experience, God has opened my eyes to what truly is happening in the world. And because of this, I am able to thank God continuously for my health, my safety, and the love He has given me.

During this year of Lent, I actively sought out the reality of our world. In the same fashion, we need to seek out the reality of Christ. Once we accept what He has done for us on the cross, He will open up our eyes to more than just what the news can show us.

Lent is only a short period of fasting, but we should continually fast our close-mindedness and ask for a prayerful heart to glorify our God that died for us, our God that made us, our God that seeks us, our God that we need. Do not ever lose sight of our God because our God will never lose sight of us.

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