By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.
Lent began on Ash Wednesday of this week. As I did last year, I visit Pastor Emily at our local Starbucks where she is dispensing ashes and praying with us for penitent hearts and a spirit of humility as we enter into this holy, reflective season in the church year. Receiving ashes at a secular place of business may seem to many of you, especially my Catholic friends, a bit odd, and that's certainly understandable. However, Emily believes this is a chance for Christian witness in the community at large, and I'm with her on that.
Traditionally, Lent is a time when we give up a favorite food, drink or pastime in order to be more mindful of the ultimate sacrifice our Lord Jesus made for us on the cross for our sins. While I'm comfortable with giving something up, I also feel that Lent is a time for taking something on. Creating new habits and practices which can strengthen and enhance my walk with God.
So, what am I giving up this year? The same time-waster I've given up the past two Lenten seasons: computer solitaire. I know, I know, it sounds cheesy, but I play it way too often when I should be embracing Bible study, reading, and my creative writing.
And, what am I taking on? Two things. First (I'm ashamed to admit this as I didn't complete this project last Lent), I'm determined to finish reading the entire Bible with the aid of the book 66 Love Letters by Larry Crabb. A much better use of my time than playing solitaire, wouldn't you agree? Second, I'm making my quasi-resolution to write a minimum of 500 words per day a true commitment. As I've stated here before, when I write is when I feel the closest to God.
Oh, and just a reminder for you courtesy of Pastor Wallace: Every Sunday in Lent is a mini-Easter. It's the one day of the week when you can indulge in the habits you have given up and take a break from the new habits you've begun. I don't know about you, but this makes me feel a lot more confident about tackling the season of Lent successfully.
What about you? What are you giving up/taking on for Lent? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.
Prayer: May this season of Lent be a blessed on for us, Father, as we grow in our faith walk with You. Let us remember each and every day the sacrifice made for us by Your precious Son, Christ Jesus, as we prepare once again to celebrate His glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday. Amen.