I wanna be first to spit out the “Why I’m Doing Lent This Year” blog post. So yeah, here it is.
Lent is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations that begins on Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Day.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the tradition and events of the Bible beginning on Friday of Sorrows, further climaxing on Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday, which ultimately culminates in the joyful celebration on Easter Sunday of theResurrection of Jesus Christ.
Historically speaking I have not participated in Lent. Even as an adult, the last few years, I have not seen a reason to participate in Lent. Honestly, mostly because I didn’t believe in the idea that we have to give up anything for atonement. I mean, Christ crucified was/is the whole point. I know there are a number of valid and biblical reasons, and I look forward to learning about all of them, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!
That being said, I WILL be participating in Lent this year for three reasons. Feel free to let me know why you will or won’t be participating in the comments below. I’d love to hear the different sides of the stories. Especially between older believers and newer ones. Catholics, Lutherans, Presies (Presbyterians), Non-Denoms, whoever!
Here mine are.
1. I have often used the unintended benefits of fasting, especially food, as a reason not to do it. “Oh, well the purpose is to bring me closer to God, but I am just using it to lose weight.” Which honestly was how I felt for a long time, but it’s time to put that excuse to rest. It could be an “added” benefit to this exercise, but I truly know that that is not going to throw things off.
2. I do believe that my salvation is not of my own, but that I have been bought with a price. That being said, motivationally, I begin to participate this year because I see what I have been given, and want to respond with fervor to that blessing, and the continued blessings that have been bestowed upon me wight he grace of Jesus Christ. If it seems simple, that’s intentionally so.
3. I have been able to take a long hard look at myself, the decisions that I make, and what I do on a day to day basis and I am honestly just tired of what I see. I see a need for drastic changes in my life. I think the first way to address any changes that have to be made are to devote them to Christ. To hand them all over. This chance to commune with Him and focus on Him as I look forward to the life He would have me live I believe will result in sober judgement over the things I look forward to and the future decisions that I have to make.
I don’t believe in being wild or crazy about giving things up, but about giving up things that pull focus from Christ. That being said, this last year has been crazy, in fact, the last couple years… since my wife and I started having kids has been crazy. Every year more so. I am committed to cutting things out this year. I am committed to being in better health, more time with the family, focus on projects and ideas that actually express who I want to point people to (Jesus), and things that allow me to do those three things. So, without further ado, a short list of things I will willingly put down over Lent and perhaps for good. Some of these things may seem trivial, but I assure you that it is all in hopes of creating focus and building positive habits in my life.
1. Soda. I am pretty sure that this gut I have is like 50% Mountain Dew. Hahaha. No, I am serious. I have probably ingested tons of sugar the last couple years just on Mt. Dew. I have been weaning soda out of my diet for two weeks now since I got sick, and I have to say that I see a significant difference just from cutting Mt. Dew out. Both in digestion and in energy. I look forward to all the other added benefits from giving up all other soda completely. I am sure eventually I will allow myself to have some every now and again, but especially for the next forty days, no dice.
2. I think I will delete Facebook, Feedly, anything that sends me updates that is not my bible off my phone and tablet for Lent.
3. I am attempting to do something ridiculous. I am not going to eat anything fast-food. I eat almost all my meals in a given week outside my house. Not all “fast-food”, but not necessarily healthy either. For forty days, and hopefully beyond I will be bringing food everywhere or going without. It’s a chance to be more concise with money and with my health.
I realize that these things will not be easy, it will be a definite life change for sure. Maybe not for you, but for me for sure. I would ask that you would take the opportunity to support me and encourage me through this endeavor.
If you have something important you are doing this Lent, leave it in the comment section, share the article, and let me know how I can encourage you in your journey.