During this season of lent, I have really struggled with to concept of giving something up. I know I am encouraged to give something up as a way to prepare myself for the celebration of the resurrection, but I have to be honest, I have always failed miserably in the attempt. I can not remember a Lenten season when I was able to fulfill my commit let for a full forty days. I always feel a complete failure at not being able to sustain any commitment to abstain from something for only forty days. I admire people who can adopt this concept and follow through with their commitment for an entire 40 days. I ran into a friend at Wednesday Night Supper who had given up her evening meal for lent. Wow! I thought as I scarfed down my lasagna and garlic bread.
This gives me a thought, “What can I really live without. What action, what food, what pastime, whatever can I live without for forty days? Jesus went with out food for forty days in the desert and was temped by the devil all the wile to boot. I however I have a hard time with the concept of going for forty days with out my morning coffee or my favorite television show.
However I am given a seed of encouragement in that as well as denying oneself I can also adopt a new activity that will bring me closer to Christ. This Lenten season I have decided to add something new to my life. Something that I hope will grow me to a deeper level of spiritual maturity. The in-depth study of God’s word! I have participated in formal Bible studies for a long time but over the past few years the turmoil in my life had given way to paring down any unnecessary activity in favor of just surviving from day to day. Don’t get me wrong, God’s word is always a very important part of my day as well as my prayer time, but I had not formally participated in a Bible study for almost a year possible longer. I began to feel a bit worn out and a bit beat up by the circumstances of life and the thought of being covered in the word was somehow a wonderful opportunity for regeneration. I want to soak up all the new energy that the Scriptures have to offer. I wait with anticipation for what God has in store for me as I begin this study.
So, what can I really live with out? As I examine my life for the unnecessary or the irrelevant I find that I can give up a half an hour of sleep to meet my bible in the early morning. I find that I can turn the television off in the afternoon before my daughter comes home to finish up the day’s reading assignment. I find that I can rearrange my weekly schedule to make time on a Wednesday morning to attend the group meetings. So in adding something to my life I am also given the opportunity to give something up as well.
God is so wonderful in al he does. He never makes a mistake and He never places anything in our path without purpose. It is up to us his people to look for His will in our lives.
Let us all wait with wonderful expectation of the amazing celebration of the Empty Tomb!
In His Name