Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lent: What I'm Giving Up (uh....Nothing.)

It's the season of Lent, the time when many people give up something in their life from Ash Wednesday through Easter.

I've never been one to really give up anything during this time of year. First - it wasn't required by the Christian tradition in which I was raised (United Methodist). Second - I can never decide what to give up.

Oh, I've had thoughts. Chocolate (I would struggle), coffee (I would flat out die), sleeping in (already recently gave that up on most mornings). I could pick something up - exercise, reading my Bible more, etc. - but none of these trigger a "yes, that's the thing" feeling inside of me.  When I think of any of them, to give them up particularly for this season feels like something I would be forcing upon myself, not as a devotion to God but rather as an action I feel like I SHOULD be doing regardless of whether my heart is in it. (Similar to my feelings on believer's baptism.)

So honestly, I just don't do it.

Our church even had a sweet, simple Ash Wednesday service where our pastor suggested looking deep inside ourselves for things we struggle with and need to turn over to God.  We were to write a prayer to give those things to Him.

Ridiculous me, I couldn't think of anything.  I know I'm a sinner, I know I have ten million things wrong with me, I know there are a bagillion ways I could improve, but yet my little card in my hand remained blank.  What is wrong with me??

Does anyone else struggle like this during this season?

In any case, I am at least reading two Lent devotionals every day.

The first is the devotion our teaching pastor, Steve, is writing.  You can find it here:

The second is a devotion that a friend in my women's quiet time accountability group suggested.  You can find it here:

Any other recommendations?  What are you giving up, if anything?

1 comment:

  1. I have the same thoughts about this...I'm not giving anything up either. I know nothing I can give up will be as big a sacrifice as what Jesus did for me on the cross. I am reading Kris Camealy's Holey, Wholly, Holy, and I think growing in our walks with Him and knowing Him more deeply is how I will go through the Lenten season. I didn't grow up practicing Lent, so it is all very new to me....