Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lent... or Lint!

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?

Just sayin....
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.

7 comments:

Thena said...

Very well said.

Nel said...

Totally agree with you, could not of said it better!

until next time... nel

promo said...

the purpose is to sacrifice for a time period, and celebrate on geting it back on Easter, as we should celebrate the resurection of Christ.

Susan said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of not giving UP but GIVING instead! What a great way to approach the season. I struggle with the giving up thing too. I've tried and failed and felt the guilt.

Hugs,

Susan

Susan said...

Left you a present over at my place!

Beverlydru said...

My husband and I just had a big discussion about this on Thursday. He was not raised in church and has soaked in the Bible as his primary way to know God more. He is also very confused by Lent- wanted to know who came up with the concept since he couldn't find any reference in the Word. : )

Pam W Merwin said...

Enjoyed reading your thoughts on Lent. This year it has made all the difference in the world to me as to how I am approaching "Resurrection Sunday". I have so enjoyed what I am doing and that is a good thing as opposed to wondering if someone would catch me doing something I said I had given up. I am doing Max Lucado's Life Lesson on Romans. I read the chapter and then it helps me to reflect on what I have read and then I blog what my reflections are. It has helped me remember so much and I have also given that time to God. It helps me to have something to share when God places someone in my path who may need what I read that day.