Today is Ash Wednesday which kicks off the season of Lent. For Christians, Lent is a time of reflection as we examine our spiritual lives. It’s a time of denying ourselves in such a way as to help us identify in some small way with the sacrifice of Jesus. It’s a time of repenting for our sins and allowing Jesus’ blood to cleanse us.
Lent is the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter except for Sundays. Sundays are instead, a day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and it culminates with Easter which is our more popular holiday for remembering that Jesus rose again.
I like that for six days of the week, I’m in a humble mindset focused on Jesus’ sacrifice, but each Sunday is a mini celebration of His resurrection. Easter is a perfect way to end Lent with a big celebration.
Traditionally, Christians fasted for Lent and then feasted on Sundays. As a nursing mama and also one who struggles with hypoglycemia, fasting is not an option. In years past, I’ve given up sugary foods, but I made a commitment to not have sugary foods in 2008 unless it’s a special occasion.
What could I give up? Makeup? Scary thought and wouldn’t work because I’m home most days and that would hardly be a sacrifice. But if I’m honest with myself, going out in public without at least a little makeup doesn’t appeal to me. A little character flaw? Maybe.
The other big thing in my life is my computer or more specifically my online activities. I get up in the morning and mosey on down here to my computer and waste quite a bit of time on this machine. I have certain commitments I need to keep online, but I could give up my computer in the mornings.
That is what I will deny myself. My morning computer play time. The only thing I can use the computer for is writing, homeschooling, or homemaking until noon.
No chat, no email, no blog reading, no commenting, no ‘research’, no surfing, etc. That’s not much of a sacrifice you may say, to which I’d reply, it is when you are addicted. When you forfeit important things to squander your time on what should be a reward AFTER doing what is needed. When you use it to escape rather than face messes you’ve made by having priorities out of order.
But the beautiful thing about this sacrifice, this denial of my fleshly desire is that I will find myself drawn more to God as I think about Him more, as I ponder His ways, and as I humble myself to ask for forgiveness. I will be changed as I reflect on His crucifixion and resurrection, and that he did that for me. And you.
In the natural, I will find that I get more done and those things will be of a higher priority. I will feel satisfied with my efforts by day’s end. I will learn to choose wisely what I spend my time on.
Yes, this Lent season will be a challenge, but it will bring about good fruit in my life. I can’t help, but feel drawn to the simplicity, the humbleness that surrounds Lent. The joy of celebrating Sundays and finishing with Easter.
Will you join me?