Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Time to Ponder


Isn't whatever you are giving up for Lent something that you should have given up for Christ anyway when you chose to believe? Why celebrate Lent?

Well, that's loaded. Some short thoughts:

  1. It depends what you are forgoing or taking up. I knew a couple that would fast solid food all 40 days and nights of Lent. Instead, they chose to pray during mealtimes. There is a time for feasting and a time for fasting (meaning you do not need to fast every day of your life).
  2. Lent is a time to me that is set apart as holy (just like the Sabbath and other Jewish holydays). It is a time of remembrance, meditation, and identification. And, it is good to set apart time to think on Christ and His self-sacrifice and what it means to imitate Him. It is always good to ponder anew His work and leading in your life.
  3. I think following (not just believing on) Christ is a process. Sanctification. I know that there is so much in my person that dishonors Christ, but thank God that He is gentle. He usually tackles just one sin-self-issue at a time with me. Lent can help us weed out the things the Holy Spirit prods us about to help us take up our crosses, deny self, destroy strongholds, and show the prevailing power of Christ in us. [Yes, this is always true, but Lent usually generates more prayer, which gives the Spirit more time to share ;)] And, there are always starting points.
  4. Now, for many years, I have been taking things up (doing something more or different). These things may or may not be things you must do every day in order to be a disciple. It is just a short season. [Setting aside time to journal versus robbing banks.] So, for me, one of the most important lessons from Lent is failure. I am destined to fail the moment I try to do anything. But, He never fails. When I see my sin, failure, and imperfection, I am driven all the more to my Perfect Savior. So, Lent leads me to love, cling to, and seek Christ all the more. And, that is what Lent is all about.
What am I doing for Lent? Well, earlier this year, I practiced living eucharisteo for two whole days (not consecutive; yes, it was a big deal for me because I am that bad)! Anyway, Ricky definitely noticed (I think he secretly prays it will happen again). So, I am trying 40 consecutive days of giving thanks (in all things, for all things). I am taking up eucharisteo. You bet I have already failed miserably. You know how sometimes for some things you start of strong and then fizzle out? That's not me right now. I am envisioning a slow start but building up steam, so I can finish strong (and, by His grace alone, keep on going). {Secretly, I am looking for a breakthrough, and I think eucharisteo might be it.}