So yesterday was Ash Wednesday. What exactly does that mean? I'm not trying to cause problems and I certainly don't mean to question your beliefs or practices.... just wondering.
When I was growing up, in a Preacher's family, we never celebrated Lent. My friends that lived across the street were very religious and diligent and did give up something for Lent. The daddy even fasted! WHOA! I remembered being very impressed and confused about the whole thing and tried to ask questions, but no one could explain it well enough that I grasped the principle...
Like WHY did I have to eat my yucky veggies just because there were starving children in Africa. I would have gladly sent them all to them. How did it help THEM if I ate something I didn't want?
So... how does it help if I give up chocolate or Facebook or coffee or cokes for Lent? Again, please don't think I'm judging or being critical - I just am truly not understanding the reasons.
Truthfully, as a child I thought they were all talking about this.... lint...
That really confused me. I for SURE didn't want to give up something important to me for this pile of trash!
Seriously, I do understand now. We are supposed to be connecting to the suffering of Jesus. That He gave up heaven for us. We should be willing to willingly give up something - live the sacrificed life.
Somehow, all this seems to bring me much guilt and condemnation. Almost like broken New Year's resolutions affect me. I've never been able to reach the goal and about 2 days into my "giving up" I forget and do it anyway. Yes, I repent and then start again, only to fall flat again and again. I finally just give up and forget Lent.
I was reading my friend Pam's blog, Lace and Southern Grace, and she was saying that she is not giving UP anything, but she is giving! I love that!!!!
A GREAT idea and concept. I agree with that. I can do that! Our sacrifice should be more about giving, doing for others and concentrating on Jesus and not on ourselves.
The other way I was always concerned with "me" and my religious activity. I think we should live a fasted LIFE, not Lent. It should be a lifestyle and not something we give up for a short time (albeit 40 days can seem like a lifetime). If we are counting the days down until we can eat chocolate or drink coke, then has it really made a difference?
For me it works to forget Lent - but not forget the principle of living a sacrificial life of praise and giving and serving.
So, for Life this year, I want to give of myself. Give more time to study the Word and in prayer. I want to give love and joy. I want to help where I can. I want to be more thoughtful and kind. I want to live in the Fruit of the Spirit. I think this will glorify Jesus and be more of what He would want more than me failing to keep my word and promise to give up chocolate, etc....
I am not trying to set the standard for what you do or believe... please hear my heart. I'm just sharing what I feel I need to do.
Blessings on you for however you chose to prepare for the Resurrection of our Lord.