As we all probably know, today is Ash Wednesday, the one day you run into people everywhere with an ash cross on their forehead. I even saw a few working out at the gym. Knowing that Lent was approaching, I have thought back to this time last year and what life was like in this season; more namely, what I chose to give up or sacrifice. (You can read about it here.)
However, this year has seemed to be different. There hasn’t been anything that has namely come to the forefront, nothing my heart has felt truly convicted of. Now don’t get me wrong, don’t take this as a ‘I’ve got things figured out’. There is plenty of work still needing to be done here. I can think of several things I could “give up” but I would be doing it for the wrong reasons. However, I read something a pastor friend of ours wrote today that, you guessed it, struck a chord with me.
Lent: Give something up OR give more of something?
I am choosing to GIVE MORE grace, forgiveness, patience, time to those I love & lead.
I’ve been thinking about this and what it means. What would it look like for me to give more to those I love, to daily remind the huzband what I love about him, to put down what I am doing to spend a few extra minutes with little V, to take a few moments to call a friend to say hello, to spend more time getting to know my neighbors or to use my time to serve others. I want to find out. So for Lent, I am choosing to GIVE MORE, however that might look. I have the next 40 days to ask God how I can give more to those I love (and of course, then do it.)
Through this, I believe I am sacrificing, for I am sacrificing myself, my wants and desires, my pride, to see where I place my limits, and give beyond them. It’s relying on God to help me give beyond my own expectations; to fully trust that He is in charge. Finally, it’s to say I don’t want Lent to be just about me and God but about others and God. I’m taking the focus off of me and thinking of others first.
As Christine Jeske says,
“Lent is good, but I also want to live the rest of life punctuated by sacrifice. I want to live in a way that my life doesn’t make any sense except for a crazy hope. I want to expect miracles from a God who takes my little sacrifices and turns them into a door for the supernatural to burst into our world.”