I’ve been thinking about Lent and what it is supposed to be for. Growing up Protestant with Catholic friends, I had a decent idea of the practice of Lent. But since my church didn’t follow the practice, I didn’t either. In fact, many of my church friends made fun of the observance; “What are you giving up for Lent?” “Brussels sprouts!”
So I have not given Lent much thought over the years that have passed. That is, until a few years ago.
Out of curiosity I studied on the Catholic practice of Lent. Why they believed and did as they did. There was some powerful stuff there. Then I studied what I could find on Protestants observing Lent.
I’ve been mulling on this for a long time now.
And I have decided to observe Lent.
Not as a ritual, not following man-made rules (there is no Biblical requirement to observe Lent), not half heartedly.
I am going to observe Lent as an ‘adjustment of my sails’ so to speak. As a time of thinking of Jesus and what He’s done for me. And how He wants me to live for Him.
There will be fasting… but not of something frivolous (and in my opinion insulting to God) like sweets or sodas. That is one of the things that has always disturbed me…all the way back to the words of my snarky young friends. Lent is supposed to be contemplation of Jesus’ suffering and dying for us, and we honor it by giving up candy bars for 40 days???
I want to be absolutely serious about this. I want this Lenten season to bring me closer to God and Jesus. To refine me.
To that effect, I will be fasting pleasure time on the computer. The computer will be only a tool…not a form of entertainment. I will replace that time with different ways of serving Him. Getting my home in order. Entertaining others in my home. Participating in mission-hearted activities. And whatever else He brings to the table.
Also there will be a fast of attitude. This one will be the hardest. I will be fasting from negativity.
No snarks, no gritching, no hissy attitudes.
And there will be repentance. I believe that this is the ultimate outcome of Lent. To become aware of your failings and to apologize and to turn away from them. That is what repentance means… turning away. Stop doing it. “Go and sin no more”.
This is the heart of Lent.