My Lent Practice
Usually during Lent we give something up that is not healthy or in accord with a God-honoring, Christ-centered life. The things we give up are usually getting in our way with our relationship to God. They are usually blocking us from experiencing the radical grace and the awesome love of God. God desires a relationship with us, not one full of dutiful motions, but a heart-centered soul-nourishing life.
One year I gave up buying books, but that didn’t go well. I didn’t last the entire 40 days. I bought one or two (…well, maybe it was more than that) before lent was over. They were books about spirituality, if that makes a difference, which I don’t think it does.
One year I didn’t give up anything, I chose to pray more and read the bible more. I must say that it was very rewarding. Something I continue to do and to deepen, something I think we should all do more of, but that might be beside the point.
To give up something is not as transforming as doing something, but I think if you join the two together it can be a powerful, insightful, and life-changing way of journeying through the Lent season. This year I am going to try to fuse giving up something with doing something.
I thought about giving coffee up. As I write this, I am in Starbucks sipping a coffee, so that won’t be it. Maybe, another year when I am more spiritual more enlightened.
So, not coffee. What then?
Last year, I gave up playing an online game, but I don’t do that anymore.
Healthy may be the key. Give up sweets? Hmmm…. That could be it. I don’t know. I had a Danish with my coffee, so I would have to start now. I might need help with this. It won’t be easy, but it could help me grow. Will that be it? I want to say no. To make it something else that might be a reason to do this.
Ok. Its sweets. No more sweets or at least for the rest of the lent series, I might break this fast of sweets. I will do it. I pray I will last for the rest of the season.
So, I am going to give up sweets at least until Lent is over. In its place, I will read the bible and other books, and spend more time with my family and friends.
I will eat more of the good things. I have tried to cut the bad stuff out, but maybe the way to go about this is just to eat the healthy stuff and not worry so much about the sweets and other junk food. This is a positive way to do this.
I am not saying this for you to look at me as such a good person as much as I am challenging you to make your own Lent practice and to look at your life and see the areas where you can be more Christ-like. What areas you need to challenge yourself to live healthier, saner, more loving. I hope this Lent season will be a time for us to grow into the person God means for us to be here and now.