Conforming our lives to Christ
There was a short lived game show that was on television from 2008-2009 called “Hole in the Wall.” Inspired by a Japanese television show, competitors were challenged to fit through a “hole in the wall.” A human form in various kinds of poses would be cut into a large Styrofoam wall which moved toward the player. The player would then shape their body to fit through that particularly shaped hole.
One of the easy ones might be a hole shaped like a person standing with two arms stretched up like a “Y.” The player would stand in just the right place and in just the right position to fit through the hole in the wall. The shapes got much more complicated, maybe with the person standing on their hands or balanced with one foot in the air. And when the player couldn’t get it quick enough, they’d crash into the wall and get pushed into a pool of water.
It was a ridiculous television show, with brief and rare moments of hilarity. “Hole in the Wall” was certainly not the high point in our ever-evolving civilization. But I can’t help but think about it every time I enter into these weeks before Easter, this season we call Lent.
The spirit of Lent invites us to conform our lives more closely to Jesus. We get to maneuver our lives to be Jesus-shaped. Jesus didn’t leave any silhouettes on Styrofoam. But if he did, they’d be holes shaped like a person with arms stretch out in a wide embrace, like a cross. Or kneeling down in service. Or sitting to deeply listen. We don’t have holes to fit into, but we do have this model of Jesus’ life that we can imitate.
His was a life entirely lived for others. A life where prayer took priority. Days that were filled putting others needs before his own. Hours that were spent working to create a new world where all people couldreally live. This is the life we adapt our lives to match.
This season of Lent reminds us that faith is more than just thinking or believing in a particular way. Instead faith is something we live out, in our bodies. Conforming our lives to Christ might mean some shifting around and re-arranging. After all, this season is about getting ourselves out of the center of our own lives and putting God and other people first. We get to shape our lives into new positions of prayer and fasting, postures of service and worship.
It’s no silly gameshow and we won’t crash into anything if we get it wrong. But I’m pretty certain that conforming our lives to Jesus will bring us all kinds of joy and meaning.
Sara Olson-Smith, associate pastor