I was raised Episcopal. And as a child, I remember discussions about what everyone was ‘giving up’ for Lent every year.
My dad always gave up sweets. Like clockwork. I can’t remember what anyone else gave up because no one else in my family made it much past that first week.
In my mind, Lent was sort of like a second shot at a New Year’s Resolution. And I didn’t really get it.
Other than realizing that it was something I wasn’t really good at.
Self-denial, that is.
Now, on my personal walk with Jesus, I believe that following these rules doesn’t bring me any closer to Him. Especially if I don’t get it. Giving up eating sweets, or chewing my nails, or watching TV for 40 days is worthless unless I get it.
And I want to get it this year. I haven’t participated in giving up something for Lent in years, and it’s not a season we really ‘observe’ in our house. We believe we are saved by grace, and not by works. End of story.
But for some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about Lent this year. Wondering if I need to use this opportunity to draw closer to Him by giving up something important to me. Something I will miss. Every. Single. Day.
So that I will be reminded of all He gave up, all He sacrificed. For me.
I asked my husband about this and he said, “Well, why don’t you just give something up now? It doesn’t have to be at Lent….”
Ahhhh, men. Do they understand? I mean, if Chris says, “I’m going to start working out.” He does. And he never takes a day off. Or if he says, “I’m going to stop eating sugar.” He does, and he never eats a cookie or a brownie again.
The nerve of that ridiculously self-disciplined man.
I think most men just don’t get how hard it can be for a woman to give up something she loves. How hard it can be for a woman to have to tell herself, “No.”
So, I’m going this alone. I don’t want the guy whose picture is in the dictionary under the term “self-discipline” along for this ride. Way too much pressure. And I hate that kind of pressure.
I want to do this for the right reasons.
And, if I can do this by saying “Yes!” to Him and “No!” to self, I hope I will, at last, get it right.
I’ll keep you posted.
“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” ~ Philippians 3:8