If your new to Lent, here’s the wiki primer on Lent.
The gist? Lent is the 40 day season leading up to Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday. All a part of the Christian Liturgical Year. It’s typically a Catholic tradition. I’m not Catholic but a good idea, is a good idea, right? It’s meant to help one keep the gospel of Jesus in the forefront while we allow ourselves to journey with Jesus on the sad journey towards the cross where he was brutally tortured on our behalf.
I know that observing Lent carries a lot of religious baggage for some seeing it as a dreary time of custom or duty. (My problem with Bierma’s post is that it feels to me like another man of power and privilege deciding to choose when to suffer and when not to, which, in my professional opinion is not exactly the point of living in the Kingdom of God. Being able to choose when to sacrifice for Christ and when not to is a luxury of being a wealthy American Christian. My being keenly aware of this privilege means I choose to sacrifice and displace myself as often as I possibly can. Especially, when I’m joining millions of others in my family of Christ across the world. I don’t feel a great amount of admiration for those who knowingly choose to live in power, privilege and comfort because “giving up chocolate seems trivial)”.
I’m just sayin’…
We live in a focus-on-me, pain-averse culture. Lent is the time for serious Jesus followers to stand apart by embracing “suffering” which cultivates wisdom and growth that typically only comes through suffering. (You may hate it -like I do- but y’all know I’m right). In America, I do not suffer AT ALL like the Christians of Pakistan do, but Lent is a chance for me to stand in solidarity with them and with Jesus in self-denial.
It’s hard, yo!
I don’t think I have ever made it through an entire Lent season staying true to what I tried feebily to deny myself.
(Do I sound holier if I admit I’m only in my 5th year of practicing Lent)?
(That was a joke, fyi).
My choosing to displace my comforts and “sacrifice” for Jesus is my teeny-tiny way of trying to journey with my Jesus -who I love and adore so much- in spiritual preparation and renewal specifically marked by repentance and prayer.
And the Lord knows I could stand to repent. This past week, y’all has been a flood of rejection of what God wants for me. Not only did I knowingly step into a mess, but then I just started rolling around in it, joyfully embracing a hot mess. I’d like to address some of that SERIOUS TRIFLINESS in this Lent season.
- I’m fasting from 2-Suit Spider Solitataire which I play on my iphone at all hours of the day and night. Hello, my name is Grace and I am a 2-suit Spider Solitaire addict.
- I’m fasting from playing on my iphone before bed and the moment I wake up. In general, I lay in bed to go to sleep and have the following routine: check my twitter (tweet), check my blog (respond), check my email (respond to any urgents), check my facebook (LOL someone) & then start a 20-30 minute session of 2-Suit Spider Solitaire. And then start the whole process all over again. Ugh. It’s a disgusting waste of time.
- I’m fasting from pop, y’all. Ugh, oh, sigh, sadness and curses. I LOVE pop. I’m addicted to pop. Pop is my joy and my heart and the 1st thing I look forward to each day. Oh my.
- I’m fasting something entirely too personal to share here. Let’s just say it has a schooch something to do with the aforementioned sin pattern that would be best not to give up for Lent only but for life!
- I’m fasting desserts. Oh, how I love desserts and could sing the praises of desserts for my life long. Oh, how I will be sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad to not have dessert. Between the spider solitaire, the pop and the dessert this is going to be one heck of a sad season for me. (Again, the point!)
- I considered giving up blogging and facebooking for Lent, but honestly, I’m not ready for that. I know I couldn’t do it. I will spend some time praying about that. I.E. Why is there ANYTHING in the whole world I wouldn’t be willing to give up for Jesus?
My desired outcome when I go ninja on Lent?
Say no to myself so that I can say a better ‘yes’ to Jesus. May I understand and live in Jesus’ sufferings in new ways. May I appreciate more deeply the FANTASTIC NEWS that Jesus rose from the stinking dead and that didn’t happen without sludging through a humiliating, dastardly death on a thief’s cross. (And knowing it’s my crazy behind that put him there).
I’ll be studying through the Psalms of the Passion. Psalms 22-30.
Here we go!
What about you, are you going to give up anything for Lent? Don’t fret about starting late…last year I started 9 days late. Oops.
Better late than never! =)
Happy Ash Wednesday to my fellow Jesus followers,
(P.S. Here’s a GREAT post from Mama Monk on why she loves Ash Wednesday because it reminds her that she is going to die.) I love Mama Monk! =)
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