Growing up we never practiced Lent and I have long thought it to be some archaic practice for legalists or Roman Catholics, and not for me. But my heart is changing and each year of the last several I have sought to discover just what Lent means for me. In its simplest form Lent is simply a time of fasting from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday. But really, it's much more than that. As Ann Voskamp sums it up so well,
"It’s the preparing the heart for Easter. Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we might come face to ugly face with our enemy. Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice"And that's what it means for me. Sacrificing that I might become more like Christ in His sacrifice. Each year at this time I think about what I might sacrifice. And each year I think about sugar or yelling or something like that. And I make it for maybe a week. Then I cave. And then I forget.
But this year. This year seems … different. Yesterday I read Why Do Lent? Why A Failing Lent Actually Succeeds (& a Booklist). God spoke to me through her words. Sacrifice that you might be more like Christ in His sacrifice. I encourage you to visit Ann's blog and read her God-given wise words for yourself and see if they inspire you as they do me.
Coming face to ugly face with our enemy. Isn't that what Jesus did when He was in the wilderness for those 40 days? And so it is with me. I MUST come face to ugly face with my enemy. Over the recent weeks God has been steadily showing me how my enemy distracts me. From Jesus, from my family, from this precious life that He has granted me. Distractions. Some distractions seem good, many even seem so tiny they can't possibly be distractions. And yet they are distractions … from Him.
And so, for many reasons that I feel unable to articulate, not the least of which is that I allow it to suck time and life from me, I am giving up facebook for Lent. That may sound just silly to some. And I understand that. But for me it is huge. No, I don't find myself lost in Farmville or anything like that. It's simply that, well, it's a distraction. A big one. And I would be lying if I said that I thought it would be easy. I know I'll miss it. Late night chats with my sis-in-law, silly comments from friends that make me laugh. And … here's the brutal honesty … I'll miss the validation of myself and my activities from friends and family.
But if I am going to come face to ugly face with the enemy of my soul, then I must deal with the distractions from the Lord that present themselves to me. So here I go. Pray for me?
p.s. if you are a facebook friend and you want to get in touch with me, please comment here or email me: onecrazychicken at comcast dot net … thanks!! Love you friends!