lent, reflected

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I know Lent started a week ago, but it’s all grace, yes? I struggled for days with what to give up this year without any clear direction. When inspiration struck, I knew to take hold without delay. I find immense value in the practice of Lent. Denying oneself. Fasting. Prayer. The emptiness of the season with the ever-present promise of fulfillment in the resurrection.

In the end, this year’s Lenten season is really about more intangibles than any specific vice or sacrifice that I’m making. I can give up smoking as easily as the next non-smoker, but what does it look like to live my life as sacrifice, to hold on to God in a new way? I read a blog post by Margaret Feinberg that really described it much better than I was able to put words to. Margaret proposes, “maybe the question we need to ask as we enter Lent isn’t, “What are you giving up for Lent?” as much as “What do you want to lay hold of during Lent?”

In that vein, there are things that I’m concentrating on putting behind this season. Namely: pride, insecurity, shame. Can I move forward in a confident, victorious free life with those things weighing me down? Not hardly. I’ve been humbled by the amount of time I spend being controlled by these negative emotions. Not at all walking in the freedom I know I have in Christ. Until I can put those aside in hopes of grasping hold of true humility, confidence, and freedom, I am continuing a negative cycle of emotions and thought patterns. I want to make room to lay hold of those things God has for me. The freedom that is found only when I lay myself and my selfish desires down at the foot of His cross.

Joel 2:13-14 (the message)
Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here's why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe.

Join me? What do you need to let go of during Lent? What are you wanting to lay hold of as a result?

 

 

Coming soon: Resources I’m using both for myself and the kids as we observe this season in some practical ways

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