By Chaplain (Capt.) Lelys Miller
Special to GUIDON
The month of February brings us into the season of Lent for this year.
I have been thinking about Lent more in 2020 than any other time in my life. During my adolescent years growing up in Panama, I didn’t have to give up much during Lent because I did not have much, so I abstained from meat and enjoyed my vegetarian meals.
As I observe my life today, meat is not the only thing to give up, and I don’t have to wait for the Lenten season to give up those things that I know hold me back from moving forward in my spiritual life.
Hebrews 12:1-2 encourages us to “throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us.”
This opening appeal in chapter 12 is based upon the exposition of chapter 11, which is known as the “Hall of Faith,” where the men and the women of God were commended for their faithfulness both in character and in action.
Their lives were an example to encourage us. It also says to “run with perseverance the race set out for us.”
This is an endurance run, much like a marathon, and requires a light diet, light clothing and just minimal stuff.
The best thing about the race is the finish line. Every race I have entered, including the Marine Corps Marathon in Afghanistan, the Romeo and Juliet Half Marathon in Verona, Italy, and the Colonel Darby Forty Miler at Lake Garda, Italy — they all had a great start, but when I began to find my pace and endure those miles, my perspective changed as I realized the challenge before me.
I realized that no matter what thought entered my mind, my focus was the finish line.
So it is, in this race, just like the scripture says, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith,” we are to focus, look away from whatever distraction, and look unto Him.
In fact, if I start giving things up now and make my race light, I will be able to reflect more on what the season of Lent is all about rather than what I am trying to give up.
(Editor’s note: Miller is the 58th Transportation Battalion chaplain.)