I grew up in a Baptist church where participating in Lent was not customary. I have always been intrigued by the idea of Lent and the customs that go along with the time (i.e. Giving up something or multiple things in order to get closer to God). I have never had enough willpower or faith to participate in Lent, but that is changing this year.
You see, God has laid it on my heart to do Lent specifically to grow my faith. As we have been discussing ways to grow our faith at Village Church, the place I now call my spiritual home, I have tried to be more mindful and intentional in my everyday life. I am hoping that, by doing Lent, I will put myself in a position for God to move in to my life and transform it in ways that only He can. While faith-garnering moments are often providential, I want to be ready to witness any act of Christ that I am blessed to experience. My eyes and heart will be wide open!
I plan to “give up” two things for Lent. The first may seem a bit superficial, but it will be extremely difficult for me. I plan on NOT eating sweets for 40 days. As absurd as it seems, gluttony is a sin that I seem to have always faltered under, and it is a lifestyle sin. Socrates said, “Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.”
The second thing I plan to give up is much less tangible, yet still relevant for me. I plan to give up worry. Worry has always been a constant struggle in my life. I worry about everything it seems, especially things that I cannot control (like missing school and ACT prep due to snow). I am harder on myself than anyone else, and my “beating myself up” often leads to bouts of anxiety and depression, both of which I live with. During the next 40 days as we of the Christian faith approach Easter, I plan to declare the truth of a few verses that will help me lessen my worries.
“So, don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.” -Matthew 10:31. If God formed the whole universe in 7 days and continues to run it very well right down to the last sparrow, why should I worry?
“I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20. I have found my purpose, and that is within Christ. Since I walk with Him daily, what event could ensue that could ruin my life? I am learning day by day to trust the God who breathed life into me and then gave me a new life around this time last year.
I would love to share struggles and successes with anyone else participating in Lent, especially first-timers like me. Best of luck to everyone, and may we remember the story of Christ as spring arrives and all things become new.