Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The First Day of Lent

The last couple of days, I have read or listened to sacrifices that friends are making for Lent.
I have pondered what I could do.
Honestly, I have never been too successful at giving something up for the duration of the season.

I could, and probably should, give up the massive amount of Diet Coke I consume.
It would make me a healthier person in the long run, but most likely a very unhappy person
for the next forty days.  I would probably only substitute its absence with milkshakes or sweet tea.
 I do not think that is such a wise thing.

I could also give up chocolate and all sweets.
But, that would probably also make me grumpy.

It is a little difficult for me to give up the computer or internet, since it is the basis of my
business.  It is also the only way I am sometimes able to stay in touch with our son.
As I prepare to travel for a few days, my computer and cell phone become even more important for safety and communication purposes.

Somehow, I don't think God really cares if I indulge in soft drinks and sweets, or if I depend on modern technology.
I do think He objects if those things become the most important things in my life, decreasing the amount of time and attention I devote to Him.

As I sat in the darkened sanctuary today, the preacher shared that this season is not so much about changing habits, as it is about changing hearts.
I can do that.

Today, there is a cross-shaped smudge on my forehead.
It is an outward symbol of my faith and God's love for me.
Later tonight, it will be washed away.
It then becomes my responsibility, over the next forty days and beyond, to outwardly show
God's grace and love in all that I say and do.
That will, in some cases, require sacrifices and a change of heart on my part.

To those of you who are also observing Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent,
I wish you a blessed, peaceful, and reflective journey during these forty days.


Sewbusymor said...

It is all about reflecting and looking beyond ourselves. I too wear a very smudgy cross, and asked only that direction come where needed. I always fail miserably at giving up things...though I often stop to remember my uncle who faithfully gave up his 'beer' for Lent...and was always amazed at the 10-15 pounds that disappeared!! ;-) IF only it would... Hugs friend in Christ...we wait in anticipation to celebrate our salvation.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

You hit it on the head with your statement I do think He objects if those things become the most important things in my life, decreasing the amount of time and attention I devote to Him.
That is it in a nutshell. We keep him front and center always.

Prayers for you safe travels and good to see you doing so well.

God bless and keep you safe.

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

I completely agree with you and Tammy. It's all the "things" we allow to dominate our life that keeps us from the true path. I didn't make it to get the cross, but I did keep from meat today, so that's something. Well, not much really.

Unknown said...

Our pastor shared similar thoughts last night. Repentance is about turning away from those things that keep us from God, and turning towards God Himself. If giving up something helps keep you focused on God, this is fine. However, the main thing is to turn towards God - in whatever way helps you to focus more on God.

Samantha said...

Beautiful post, Jan.

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