The topic of Lent is an interesting one, and I don’t claim to know a whole lot about it. It is one of my goals to learn its purpose and origin over the next few weeks. One of the MAJOR weaknesses of the Evangelical church is that we aren’t taught much about church history and tradition, and that is a shame! I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Catholic churches, because even in the little bit that I have learned, my faith has grown so much richer by participating with the Body of Christ in the traditions of the Church.
A time of the year that holds so many possibilities for growth is Lent, and so often we give up candy or coffee for 40 days, and everyone around us suffers until Easter. We end the days grateful to once again have that substance we love, totally missing the point.
This year I have decided to take my personal Lenten season to a whole new level than I have before, and I am sharing this with you, and posting my thoughts in this blog as accountability. I hope that you will be blessed.
As I have looked over my life, the one MAJOR thing that stands in the way of my relationship with God is my being busy. I have a tendency to say “yes” to every little invitation, and before I know it, it’s 11:30pm, I haven’t spent time with God, and I couldn’t stay awake if I wanted. God is crowded out as every little activity is crowded in, and I am exhausted, drained, and discontented with my life. I am starting to realize that I have been living in a lose-lose situation.
For Lent, I have decided to FOCUS. I am going to focus on spending time with Him: listening, growing, reading, praying, becoming, etc. I want to tune out the other voices of “you SHOULD do this” to learn to discern God’s voice in what He is asking of me. Ministry opportunities are all around us, and those of us with servants’ hearts unconsciously fall into the trap of feeling the responsibility to single-handedly change the world. However, being part of the Body of Christ means learning how to be a team player with others, encouraging those around to take part, and truly playing the role that God created us to play. I realized that my “savior” mentality was standing in the way of obeying God over all the other “good” voices out there. Like I know the voice of my friend when she calls me on the phone, I want to be able to recognize God’s voice in the crowd and follow Him first and foremost.
I have also committed to focus on building deeper relationships with those around me that sharpen me in my walk with God. Because I am always so busy, I know A LOT of people, but only VERY FEW people well. If the idea of community was so important to God, then it needs to be important to me too. There is so much joy that comes from deeply loving others and being deeply loved that I have been missing out on.
I really desire that this time will set a pattern for my life in developing boundaries and using my hours and days well. I don’t want to fill my days with activities that only wear me out and make me wonder where my life has gone. I want to live life as it was intended, to the fullest, and with Divine purpose. I see my schedule as my weakness and something that needs to be seriously evaluated.
Please don’t be offended if you want to go to the movies with me in the next few weeks and I say, “No.” I do not see this time as a meaningless activity, and I am not cutting these things out of my life forever. I am attempting to refocus my time, tune in to the voice of God, and learn how to make the most of the activities I choose to do with my time so that in the future my life will be balanced, consistantly watered, and full of purpose.
Please feel free to join me on this journey, and share your thoughts and stories about Lent as well. Let’s dive into this together!