Lent is approaching . . .

It’s that time of year again – Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time of year that I look forward to every year. I have given up something for Lent every year for as long as I remember. I always have tried to give up something that I eat that I think will be particularly difficult for me – potatoes, caffeine, ice cream, etc. This year I think I’ve decided to give up cheese. It will be difficult (I am a notoriously picky eater, and none of the things I like are healthy, so cheese is a very large part of my diet), but this year I have become frustrated with myself over the amount of cheese I eat. It seems that as I get older I get pickier and pickier, and MANY of the things that are left involve cheese somehow (pasta, as a topping on my breakfast foods, etc.), and I think that by removing cheese from my diet I will be forced to learn to eat new (healthier) things, because I’ll be hungry if I don’t.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

1 Corinthians 6:19

OK, that all sounds nice and dandy, you don’t really care about the intricacies of my food issues, LOL! I tell you this because I wanted to point out the thought that has gone into my decision, and the fact that for me personally this is a true sacrifice, and I don’t make this sacrifice to become a “martyr” and then complain the entire period of Lent – I make this decision because I know that this food has taken up too much room in my life, and that by getting rid of it, I will be forced to replace it with something healthier. I will be doing something to help clean up my body, which is God’s home. He gave me this body, and I have been disrespecting Him by disrespecting my body. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to give up cheese for the rest of my life, but by giving it up for Lent I will become less dependent on the food and more dependent on God as He helps me make healthier choices.

This year I am also going to do something new. I have heard many people say that they don’t give up something for Lent, but instead take something on, like a random act of kindness. This year, along with my sacrifice of food I will be sacrificing my time as well. I will be giving up time every day to spend with the Lord.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – you’re a Christian, don’t you do that anyway? Sadly, my answer is no (and this is my first time publicly admitting this). I don’t lie and say that I do spend time every day with the Lord, I just avoid the subject. When I was in high school, and even for the first half of my freshman year of college, I was very good about spending time in the Word and in prayer with God. I may not have gotten to it every day, but I’d say probably 4 or 5 days a week. Then, as college progressed, I got busier and busier, became tired, and wanted to spend my free time doing what I wanted to do. I lost my desire for time with the Lord.

Now, four years later, I see how this loss of devotional time has caused my walk to come to a standstill. I haven’t really strayed from the path, but I have become stagnant. And this is the worst thing of all. So, for Lent, I am committing to reading in the Bible along with a reading plan every day, and my goal in this is to strive for a newfound desire for time with the Lord. They say it takes 30 days to make something a habit, so I am aiming to create a time and ritual for my devotional that will last long past the Lenten season of 2007. If you have a spare moment, please pray that I can stay focused and committed to this aim.

I will be blogging about my progress throughout the Lenten season (and hopefully I will have great things to share from my time in the Word), and I look forward to others sharing their thoughts on Lent and the things they are committing to throughout the season.

Be sure to check out the Lenten Blog Carnival that will be happening on Ash Wednesday over at Homemaking Through the Church Year!

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