Today is Ash Wednesday, a day which marks the first day of the season of Lent. We celebrate Lent as a reflection of Christ’s forty-day fast in the desert and his enduring of Satan’s temptation, as recorded in the Synoptic gospels. Many Christians choose to observe this season by fasting from something like television or chocolate, while others choose to actually fast from meals (many people will eat one modest meal each day), and others choose to observe Lent in their hearts without much specific outward expression.
I am usually not incredibly successful in holding fast to the things that I give up for Lent. This year, a friend and I had the idea to give up coffee; this would be probably the most constant reminder of my need for the Lord that I can possibly think of. I get up for work at 4:30 or 5:30 a.m. every weekday, so when I make it to JP’s afterward, I usually feel pretty justified in buying a cup of coffee and getting my work done for the day. That’s how I am most productive. Also, since I drink coffee almost every day, I am afraid that if I give it up, I will find myself with a 40-day migraine. I am not trying to make excuses, but just to illustrate that my personal well-being might not be in great shape if I give up coffee for Lent. Maybe that is all the more reason that I should do it and just trust God to take care of the rest. I didn’t drink it today, just in case I decide to really go for it for Lent, but I am not fully committed yet.
However, I am fully committed to a few other things. One thing I want to give up this Lent is some of my time. Too often, I let my schedule fill up with so much schoolwork, and so many meetings and extracurriculars, and I do not take nearly enough time to spend with the Lord. My aim is to read at least four pages in my Bible each day (four to eight chapters, generally), to dedicate myself far more fully to prayer, and to write at least one song each week. I am hopeful that I can stick to these ways of spending my time, because I think that they will really be beneficial in keeping the saving work of Christ at the forefront of my mind during this season of Lent.
What are you giving up for Lent? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @hopekathryn17!
‘Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’’