The season of lent is upon us, and again I’m reminded that God doesn’t want my chocolate; He wants ME.
Lent, in Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. (more at Wikipedia)
So if I’m not giving up chocolate, what exactly is my plan for lenten sacrifice this year? Here are a few ideas I’ve been kicking around.
Remember and Reflect – Jesus died a horrific, painful, public death. Death on a cross. For me. God allowed this to happen to his son. For me. The least I can do is take time to remember the sacrifice and reflect on the magnitude.
- Read. Books that will strengthen and challenge my faith. (Book ideas welcome!)
- Pray. Real, meditative, slow prayer that so often gets whisked away with the busyness of each day.
- Devotions. For the family and for myself. We’ll have to slow down and prioritize to get this done, which is both a sacrifice and a reward.
Reevaluate – I need more of Him, less of me. How can I structure my life to make that happen?
- My time. How am I spending my time? Is it edifying? How can I serve others better? What can go? (This one is hard for me! Last year I gave up Facebook and lived to tell about it. Might need to do that again, among other online time suckers…)
- My homemaking. If Jesus Came to My House and knocked upon the door… what would he find? Who would he greet? (Mary or a disheveled, stressed-out Martha?) He doesn’t expect my home to be perfect, but he does expect me to care for the gifts he’s given me.
- My relationships. Am I actively present to my children? (Being home and being present are two totally different things!) What about my husband? Am I caring for him and making time with him a priority? Am I meeting his needs?
Reorganize and Refine – With all that society calls us to be, do, and have, there is little left for what God calls us to be, do, and have.
- Physical Clutter. I hope to make great strides in the Declutter Challenge during lent, purging stuff that takes up time and space in our home without serving a purpose or giving us pleasure.
- Mental Clutter. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things.” Phillipians 4:8 I need to post that verse on my forehead during lent.
- Time Clutter. Again, back to time. Time is a gift, and I don’t always spend mine wisely. This needs to change. The end.
Lent, for me, is not simply a season to “give up” something that I can pick right up as Easter morning dawns. It’s a time of reflection, of refining, of change.
What is Lent for you?