“Lent affords us the opportunity to search the depths of our sin and experience the heights of God’s love.” ~ Chuck Colson
Let me introduce you to the dandelion picker. That thing is humongous. It digs deep into the soil with prongs at the end designed to grab the root of the dandelion and pull it out of the ground. It was a very big tool to be given to a young boy helping his father pick weeds. I could not understand why I would need such a tool and have to go to so much work to pull out the weed when all I had to do was grab it by my hands and jerk it out of the ground.
That was when my father taught me about dandelions and similar weeds. When I argued that it wasn’t necessary to use that unwieldy thing, he told me to go ahead and pull out a dandelion with my hands but to remember where it was located. After I jerked the weed out of the ground bringing with it — of course — a broken root, my father asked where the weed was pulled.
I pointed out the location of the weed. My father used the tool, sticking it all the way to its handle and then deftly moved the tool from side to side. When he was satisfied that he had what he desired, he pulled the tool out of the ground accompanied by the remaining root that I had left behind. He told me that all I had done was rip the top half of the weed out of the ground. However, with an intact root, the weed would soon make an appearance once again.
We don’t like to look at our sinfulness. We don’t like to think that we are weak. Because of that, we often pay Lent lip service. We deal with our sins the way I dealt with dandelions by treating the sin at the surface but leaving the roots behind. If we only look at our sinful action rather than at what is at the very heart of our sin, we will leave deep roots of sinfulness behind and those roots will indeed flourish and we will be steeped in sin yet again.
Lent reminds us to work not only at the surface, to fix things that need to be fixed, but to look into the depths of our soul as well to see what is prompting us to sin. Our sinful actions are at the very surface but the cause of those actions lie deep within. Unless we reach inside to identify the root and take the whole thing out, we will be in the same place in short order.
This thought might cause some of us to be disheartened and lose hope. Don’t let that be the case. Sin, no matter how deep it may permeate our soul, can be dealt with and eradicated with the help of the One who loves us best. Turn to the Lord as you attempt to identify the roots of your sin. He will lovingly show you what needs to be done and give you the grace to accomplish it.
FAITH ACTION: Do not be afraid to determine how rooted your sin might be. In determining its root, you can determine how best to defeat it.