What Am I Giving Up For Lent?

In light of what Rob Bell said last night at the Wiltern (on his Drops Like Stars tour), I've decided to give up on bitterness and to give up "the future." I'm not saying that I'm going to cut myself off from the future in general, I'm just going to stop clinging to the future to which I've held for myself. I'm going, if only for forty days, to give up straining toward a rigid goal and I am going to open myself up to new ideas, even if that's all to which they ever amount.

Bitterness comes with the territory, not of dreaming but of planning. There is a big difference between the two. We become bitter when our plans are disrupted and, when we've made our plans rigid, then almost anything can disrupt them. Dreams, on the other hand, are often the result of disruption. The little boy living on Skid Row dreams of his exodus. The slave dreams of her freedom. But the one who makes plans and clings to an idol future is one who suffers the greater agony--that of the lack of disruption and therefore the lack of expectation. Imagination is given birth through suffering, and thus dreams are the product of hope, they are the antithesis of bitterness. Thus... to put it differently... I am taking up the practice of imagination. I am choosing, the Lenten season, to dream and to imagine.