Have you ever flipped this saying on its head? It sounds a little different when you do, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want to gain, or find, themselves. Anyone who has will tell you that whatever it took to gain themselves was worth it, that this gift of finding and realizing who they are, and owning who they are, is priceless.
And yet at the beginning of Lent, we here the original wording in the day after Ash Wednesday’s readings:
“What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” –Luke 9:25
It puts the focus , though negatively, on gaining the world.
In this season of fasting and penance, it seems we lose a lot. We forego many things in order to be able to see more clearly what it is that we do really need, the places that need fixing, the opportunities for (mostly uncomfortable) growth.
And I think many of us find that we have lost ourselves, or at least little bits of ourselves, since the last time that we really took the time to be intentional about our relationship with God, to draw closer to Him.
So maybe during this Lenten season, we should put our focus on gaining back these little bits of ourselves that we’ve lost to the world.
But to turn towards God, we have to turn away from the world. To listen to God, we have to stop listening to every other voice around us. To hold onto God, we have to let go of what we’ve been pursuing for ourselves.
It’s another type of fasting. Fasting from the world to gain ourselves.