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Success, Failure and The Lenten Journey

Often times our Lenten journey can begin as quickly as it ends.  We may resolve to break a habit or develop a virtue.  Yet, for all our efforts, we find that soon our determinations become vague sentiments and by the end of forty days we are sadly where we started.  I found a message in a movie I recently watched that may help us, when we find that our efforts seem to amount to little.

One of my favourite films is “The Imitation Game.”  The historical drama tells the story of Alan Turing, a young mathematician, who was tasked by MI6 to break the secret code of the Nazis during WW2.  He broke the code. The interesting thing for me happens right after as the British use this knowledge of the Germans secret language.

The Allies did not want to tip the Germans to the fact that they had broken the code, so they bided their time.  They moved shipments strategically, while allowing certain others to be sunk.  In this way, victory was somewhere off in the horizon, though the ground soldiers, nor the enemy, knew it not.

In a similar way our own Lenten journey can be compared to the Allied fight against the Nazis.  We too must battle against principalities which seek our destruction.  We too must face off against a culture which seeks to promote materialism, superficality, and pride over and against the values of the Gospel.  We too must contend with our own nature, which often seeks the easy way out over and above doing what’s right.

Yet, our commander, has already overcome the world (John 16: 33).  Indeed, He has played upon the devices and plots of the enemy and has shown us that death is not the end but is the very beginning of our continued journey.  Though to us ground soldiers, this victory looks precarious, however, the code has been cracked.  All we must do is have faith in our commander, that he knows what he is doing, even though we do not see.

Our attempt to build more virtue, or fight against vice, may then meet with success or failure.  We can however be rest assured, that Christ will have the final say over our lives, and in the end, everything will work out for the good for those who continue to love him (Romans 8:28).