Lent: Refreshing the Soul

Growing up we did not participate in the Season of Lent, even though we were in a Methodist church. My dad’s reasoning was that with the death of Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the grave, we are freed from the act of sacrifice. I get his mindset, I really do. But as I get older and my focus is torn in so many directions, I find the idea of 40 days of determined focus on my sweet Savior refreshing and much needed.

Randy and I discussed several options when we were deciding what to give up for Lent. We agreed it had to be a lifestyle change. It had to be something that we would have to make a conscious effort to maintain, thus a reminder that sends us back to the cross, pulling our focus to Jesus. We talked about social media, we talked about food, we talked about deeds of omission vs. deeds of commission, we talked about it all. At the end of the day, we decided on one thing to do together and then personal choices as well.

Together we will be forgoing meat, eggs, and dairy for the next 40 days. We are meaters. Big time. And we eat eggs almost every day. Dairy is in everything (salad dressing, sauces, and ummm…how do I go without cheese??). It will be different than doing The Whole 30 not only because we could eat meat then, but because I whined a lot through that process and it’s kinda hard to whine when you are doing something for Jesus. I mean…come on.

I will also be cutting back on Facebook, allowing myself 30 minutes in the evening to share anything for work or charity. But I cannot peruse or read through my newsfeed or look at friends pages. I will be taking the Facebook app off my phone and out of my taskbar on my computer.

I’m not Catholic or Methodist or any other defined religion (although I probably most identify with the PCA). My husband and I attend First Baptist in Columbus, Georgia and we love it. But if asked what I am (a very common southern question), my response is that I just love the Lord. Someone once told me that I was their “organic” Christian friend because I so adamantly opposed “religion.” The more I study, the more I pray, and the more God grows me in Him, I am convinced that He intended for us to share in an incredibly simple faith walk. He tells us to love Him with everything that we are, love each other as we love our own selves, and to share His word with the world. Yes, I believe He wants us to know His word and study His commandments, and I believe that comes through prayer, time in His word, and the gathering of believers (church, bible study, small groups, etc.), but I don’t believe that He calls for us to identify ourselves as anything other than Followers of Christ.

So my reason for celebrating the Season of Lent is not out of a need to sacrifice anything to my Lord who gave the greatest sacrifice of a perfect life and death on a cross, but out of a need to refocus my attention on the One who loved me first. My prayer over the next forty days is that God would speak to mine and Randy’s hearts as we use earthly food to be heavenly fed.