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.