Last Wednesday began Lent. I have never really done anything for Lent nor was I planning on it. About a week before Lent began I was looking into a bible study for me to follow along. I think I felt that in this season of looking for a church home, I wanted something consistent for me to learn along with. I stumbled upon ‘Lent for Everyone’ by N.T. Wright. I know, oh so spiritual. I know most people ‘give up’ or go without something during this season but I never really looked into why. I know this is a season to draw closer to God and I felt good about this study. Everyday there is a reading chosen from Matthew, occasionally elsewhere, with a reflection by Wright. I was excited and looked forward to Lent.
Come Ash Wednesday, I read a blog entry by a co-worker of my huzband. Here is an excerpt of what Chris wrote: (and feel free to check out his blog)
Lent can be a beautiful thing. It can be a time to give yourself to God. A time to reflect and grow.
Lent represents the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert. During these forty days he fasted and was tempted by Satan, yet he resisted. He stayed strong. When we celebrate lent we attempt to do the same thing. We go without something in hopes of becoming stronger.
This really struck a chord with me. However, I chose to go on about my day. Though before moving on, I prayed to God to convict me if there is something He wanted me to go without. Before my words were finished, I knew what it was but chose to ignore it.
I have heard of people giving up coffee, soda, meat, sugar, Facebook and many other things for Lent for whatever reasons they have. By the end of Wednesday I committed to giving up something I enjoy not just a little bit, but a lot of bit too much!
No, not soda. Who cares about soda. Soda doesn’t exist in my world. All that exists is Coke. Coca Cola Classic. There is no other. What’s the big deal? For some, nothing. For me, everything. I am admitting I consume way too much coke. I am addicted. There, I said it.
Till April 30th I am giving up something that has a higher place in my life than it should in hopes of relying on God in my weakness so that He can make me stronger. I know it’s a silly drink but it’s a big deal to me. So big that I am actually afraid I might not be able to do it. I didn’t even tell J I committed to doing this till Sunday. I think in case I backed out.
In all of this, as Chris said in his blog, I am giving myself, my earthly loves/wants, to God and find myself using my time to focus on Him more and more. It is just the beginning. I want to be faithful in the big things but you have to start somewhere.
So here I am God, in the small things. Nothing is more important than You.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,
and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Mark 6:34 – The Message