Lent snuck up on me this year and caught me unaware. I almost brushed it off and decided to forget it.
I’ve gone through different seasons in life. As child my family never missed a year of giving up something for the Lenten season. I was surprised that my friends didn’t observe it as well. Most had never heard of it or considered it an archaic tradition.
The attitude of my heart has changed year by year. The young child (almost) eagerly surrender my favorite treats. The preteen only participated half heartedly. The new adult struggled to find its place in my heart. This year I realized I need Lent.
There is a need set apart more time to contemplate my Savior and his redeeming work. Time to prepare for remembering his victory over death and bondage. This year mt soul craves to be reminded to slow down and enjoy him.
I’ve never been very good at fasting. I get sick and dizzy, my blood sugars get out of balance. As a mom of 12 I need to be functioning. This year I feel called to Lent. To give up, even if the sacrifice is only a simple one. The simple life I crave is kicking into full gear as spring approaches. Yet in the stillness of the early mornings or late nights I am carving out time for God and savoring him.
This Lenten season I am forgoing coffee. In those quite moments at the start or close of the day I find myself brewing a cup to feel the warmth in my hands as I curl up and savor the moment. Instead I want to savor my LORD. So for the next forty some days the french press will once again be filled with healing herbal brews and the coffee beans will make their way to the freezer. Each time I think about making a cup it will remind me to think of my Savior.
As I drain the dregs of my last cup of coffee I look forward with anticipation to the morning. The time to set aside to bask in my Jesus, to lean on him and shower with him my endless love and thanks for his ultimate sacrifice, the spilling of his blood.
I’ve searched the Bible and nowhere can I find mentioned Lent or the concept that we sacrifice for the Lord more diligently for a certain number of days. I do find that in Luke 9:23 Christ says “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow me.” I’ve always been bothered by the idea of “partying” on Fat Tuesday then to turn around on Wednesday and sacrifice something for the Lord.
Katie Mae Stanley
I think that maybe one of the reasons I don’t party and feast on Fat Tuesday. I am no where near being Catholic, so I don’t do all the things that they practice during Lent. I find Lent to be a type of “New Years” to examine my heart and be sure my focus is on Jesus. You are right, we do need to take up our cross daily and follow him.
While Lent isn’t in the Bible I still enjoy the practice. Often times as a child my dad challenged us to make the time not so much about giving up as but to also choose something like rereading the Gospels or memorizing verses that prepared our hearts for Holy Week and Easter.
I am not 100% but I think that the 40 days is connected to when Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness.
As I child, Lent didn’t mean a whole lot…well, nothing like it does now. It has now easily replaced Christmas as my favorite season. I look forward to it sooo much, esp after the ridiculousness, for lack of a better word, that, unfortunately, can come with Christmas. I always feel like it’s a huge retreat with God–my love. It becomes a very inward and personal time for me. What’s there NOT to like about it? Now, I have tried to give up coffee myself once, but just found thru prayer (odd thing to discuss with God, I know, but there it is) that it wasn’t to be. Still, I only drink one cup a day as it is, and I usually have that cup with Him. But, I have hit on many other things that work well for me–and that is the key. Finding what works for each of us to bring us closer to Him. I like your idea of savoring Him, tho. That is a good point! I do wish you a wonderful & edifying Lent! God bless you in all your work!
Thank you for sharing Cheree. Yes, I can see why you look forawrd to this time so much. I like the idea of Len being a retreat with God. Have a blessed Lent!