"Lent. It’s the preparing the heart for Easter. Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we might come face to ugly face with our enemy. Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice... Lent isn’t about forfeiting as much as it’s about formation.We renounce to be reborn; we let go to become ‘little Christs’. It’s about this: We break away to become.”
Lent is not something that I have ever practiced in my Christian walk. I remember hearing about it on the playground from my childhood friends. Wearing ashes on their foreheads, they spoke of unnatural things such as giving up candy for 40 days. As a part of a non-liturgical church tradition, Lent was not overly emphasized... yet in recent years, I have come to realize its value. A few months ago, I started thinking about Lent. I knew I wanted to give up something in my life for the 40 day period, but I was not really sure what I would sacrifice. Chocolate didn't seem appropriate since it is not something I eat all the time (although, I would LOVE to eat it everyday)... and as much as I love Diet Mountain Dew, it's not something consistent in my life either. I had to ask myself: what is something that I do everyday? Something that I really can't imagine giving up? Something that tends to distract me from more important things? Facebook.
I love facebook. It's a tool that has allowed me to connect with people that I don't see often. It's a way to keep in touch with my friends and family that I may not be able to talk to every day. Overall, facebook is a positive aspect of my life... except for one thing.
I have a tendency to spend too much time there. What better way to distract myself from schoolwork? And, sadly, it can distract my focus from God, too.
So, for my first Lent experience, I'm giving up facebook. For 40 days, I will sacrifice something insignificant so that I may know Christ's sacrifice more significantly. I will rid myself of something that has a tendency to distract from the most important way to spend my time, and I will use my newfound time to remember... I will remember the journey to the cross that Christ traveled for me. The sacrifice he made so that I may live fully. My sacrifice is nothing in comparison... and I am humbled by the thought and the immense love behind it.
Lent begins today....I am already realizing how often I habitually browse the newsfeed or read my friend's walls. I am being tempted, and as I am tempted I am trying to pray, praise, and remember... and in 40 days, may I be more aware of the beauty and sacrifice of Christ than ever before. May I be more focused on my Christ and less focused on status updates, who is friends with who, and what I should write to others.
If I mess up in some way, I will remember that I am human and more fully appreciate the perfection of Christ on His 40 day journey (and lifetime!); and I will remember that I am a sinner undeserving of His precious grace.
I will remember that He loves and cherishes me without restraint, and I should do the same for Him. After all, He did save my life.