Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lenten Preparations

Lent is starting so late this year, that I've almost forgotten that we even need to worry about it.  I'm getting to that point when I really think that I am ready for it.  Lent and spin class; two things that are really kind of difficult to go through, but yet you look forward to it in a way because it makes you stronger to suffer a little bit.

There was a time when it came to planning my Lent that I would just look at all of the things that "I" was going to do for Lent. I think I've come to realize that it's really more about asking God what He would like me to give Him for Lent, because Lent is really more about what God is going to do for me than what I am going to do for Him.  Some years, I've felt called to give up things that felt like a huge sacrifice; things that I really felt like I needed for one reason or another, but He was asking me to step out to see that I needed Him more than I needed those things.  Other years, I've felt like I wasn't giving up much at all, but sometimes that's when He's asking me to see that Lent is not so much about sacrifices as it is about Him (because believe me, I could make it all about the sacrifices).  Each year is different, and each person is different and the work that He is completing in us is different at that time.

Like many years, I think I'm going to give up TV, at least during the week.  I don't think TV is bad in and of itself, but I think that it can become a lot of noise.  I always think that giving up some sort of food is a great thing for Lent.  I've said it here many times before, but while some may scoff at the idea that giving up something like chocolate can help you grow closer to God, I think that any time we say, "God, you are more important to me than food", even in a small way, it means something and makes us more aware of Him.

If you are still trying to figure out what to do for Lent, I do have a suggestion.  One thing that is near and dear to my heart is the idea that we need rest.  When I talk to people about it, I find that most people are almost afraid to rest.  It's like we have so much to do and we are afraid that the world will fall apart if we don't get it all done.  For example, not working on Sunday is HUGE.  I don't just mean not going to a job, but also not doing the endless projects around the house.  I know that a lot of people just don't think that they can survive with one less day to do things.  I think it's an opportunity to trust God to be in control, and that He's got it so it won't all fall apart if you give it to Him for one day.  If you dare, think about giving up your time to Him.  Use Sunday as a day to go to church, be with your family, and be at rest.  Nothing but necessary things like meal prep and dishes.  If you've never done it before, you will be amazed at how giving up your time and control to God will impact your life.

Finally, I hope the other day that I didn't give the impression that I thought that it was a bad idea to give up blogging for Lent (or for any other season of your life where you might need a break).  I think that it can be a really fruitful thing, and I think that some people are called to it at certain times. I don't think that I'm called to it this Lent, but I really respect when He asks that of some people and they are willing to be obedient to that.

Other than that, I'd love to go to Stations regularly this year, but I'm not going to hold my breath.  Not only is it difficult to drag myself out of the house once I get home from work, but also the incense they use at my church for Stations does a number on my asthma.  I love incense, and I hate that minor concerns like breathing have to play a role in my decision of what to do for Lent!  I also need to try to make it to confession a couple of times in Lent.  I have been so bad since I've gotten out here.  I miss having a priest that was a true confessor in the best sense of the term.  But it's just an excuse.  Absolution has the same power everywhere.

One week; get ready!

4 comments:

  1. I haven't really given much thought to Lent yet, other than in a "Always Lent, Never Easter"/"Always Winter, Never Christmas" kind of way. Trying to keep Sunday a day of rest may be a good idea, especially since one would think it should be eminently doable for me. (I am home all week, right?)

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  2. Rest is so necessary in life. I know it is easy to be busy with many "good" things but harder still to be still. Thanks for your post :) Love the idea

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  3. Wow, one week! I didn't even realize. I have to confess, I haven't given up anything for lent since high school. I need to do something this year. You've given me a lot to think about. We did attend stations regularly last year and before and it was very fruitful. Maybe you can go to an incense free church for stations??

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  4. I try to make Sundays my day of rest...however I do use that day to cook a nice dinner...which we usually don't get to eat during the week...weekly meals are something I can prepare fast. I try to get the other chores done some other time and leave Sundays for leisure activities...I don't even like to go shopping! It's a good thing to do but it took a while to actually put it into practice. I know I need to make changes to my diet...God is asking me to start with Lent...If I can't do it for myself...I can at least try for God!

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