Our culture is often likened to whitewater raids - ever-changing, unpredictable, dangerous. There are some rules for rafting these whitewater rapids, though, that might give us some guidelines for practicing a Lent that prepares us to navigate these cultural rapids. I've translated them into biblical guidelines for a "whitewater faith" for navigating such times.
1. Rest during the calms because there is more turbulence coming/"Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy."
2. When a rock looms ahead, lean into it not away from it/"Take up your cross and follow me."
3. Whatever else you do, never stop paddling/"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
4. Let everything else but your life jacket go if you fall into the water/"There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved" (in the sense that whoever finds salvation in whatever ways owes that salvation to Christ).
Sabbath, cross, thanksgiving and prayer, Christ always and alone - surely these are the realities any genuine practice of Lent will orient us to and solidify us in.
1. an end to frantic self-reliance and a redemption of time.
2. a life of other-directedness in an indulgent and self-serving age.
3. Gratitude instead of griping and criticism as a way of being in the world.
4. Holding up of Christ as the Savior of all in a world where many tribes want to claim him exclusively for themselves.