As I have entered into this season of Lent, I have been trying to gain a greater understanding of what Lent really is. I did not grow up in a church that practiced Lent. I know the basics, that it starts with Ash Wednesday where we have a time of confession and repentance. The pastors put ashes on our heads to remind us that we came from the dust. I know Lent involves fasting from something, or dying to ourselves in some way. Easter is the end of Lent,and somehow, after sacrificing something small, we are more able to appreciate all Christ sacrificed for us, and it helps us celebrate the resurrection.
I seem to struggle with the idea of Lent on some level, not because I disagree with what it is calling us to do. It’s just the opposite. My problem is that I feel like I should be living this way everyday. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul reminds us that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead, because of that we are made alive in Christ. He goes on to say that he “dies every day” in verse 31. Shouldn’t I be living a life that is sacrificial and be grateful for the resurrection everyday? I should be especially grateful for the resurrection when I mess up and am reminded that I can’t live how I am supposed to live, except for the fact that he died and rose again for me. Because I don’t live like this every moment, I am truly grateful for this season and the opportunity to seek Him in a new way. I trust that He will teach me more about living this way every day.
I had been thinking and asking God what I should “give up” for Lent. I really felt like He was asking me to give up a couple of things: coffee and media. You need to know that these are two big things for me to give up. Doug brings me coffee while I am still in bed. I can’t function without it. I love it. Reading my Bible and drinking coffee go hand in hand and they have for years. The other is media. I really enjoy unwinding after a long day at work in front of my favorite television show, or connecting with my friends on Facebook, or looking for recipes on pinterest. I love media. I know these things aren’t bad things to enjoy, but I felt like they were what God wanted me to give up. I can see, even in this first week of Lent, how He might use giving these things up to change me. Instead of waking up because I get to have COFFEE and read my Bible, I now wake up looking forward to just reading my Bible. There is something so sweet about just looking forward to spending time with Him (Doug still brings me hot water, which is not the same at all). Instead of screen time, I have used my free time to read my Bible, organize my prayer life, read books and listen to worship music. I have tried really hard to spend time with Him instead of filling myself with another distraction.
Even though I don’t fully understand Lent, I do know I have a lot of growing to do. My hope is that He truly transforms me more into the likeness of Christ. I trust that by seeking Him in a different way during this season, He will speak to me and I will be able to hear Him more clearly.