I’m not big on Lent.
Before you start questioning my Christianity and ordination… let me say I agree/honor/endorse the season of Lent and all it signifies. I just don’t usually do the whole give up/add/take out sugars kind of thing. And the reason is not because it’s not significant; it’s that I flat forget. Almost every year Ash Wednesday rolls around and I realize I haven’t figured out something to “to do” and so I don’t.
I once gave up sweets. Hated every minute if it. But I will say, it was a good practice and I was reminded, very often, about “what Jesus did for us.” Saying no to sweets is not an easy thing for me.
If you’re new to Lent or (like me) constantly forgetting about it, here’s an incredibly succinct definition I found from my United Methodist friends:
“Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others (Here’s where I found this).”
I love thinking of Lent as a time of “self examination and reflection.” Because truthfully, that’s what I desired and opted to focus on this year. Fortunately, I was reminded a week out and knew I needed to be intentional this year. Intentional… That’s been a big word word me this year (all 3 months of it, but really it has been). & So, I wanted to weave “intentionality” into this Lent season. I definitely wasn’t feeling an “anti-sweets” theme again and desired for something that would change me. That would help me be more in tune and intentional with God, myself, and help me (deeply and spiritually) prepare me for Easter Sunday.
I landed on INTENTIONAL GIVING.
Each day I wanted to be intentional about giving something away. I didn’t have many rules other than each day I wanted to be open to giving someone, something that God pressed on my heart. And it didn’t have to be overly spiritual (I think we get hung up on that sometimes) and thus be limited to only bibles and “Jesus books.” But instead, I wanted it to be about the people I encountered and what God would lay on my heart. It could be a necklace someone complimented or it could be an encouraging email. It could be a flower, a phone call, or a old window frame… seriously anything. The sky is the limit.
And that’s what I’m doing this season. Being intentional.
Yes, LENT technically started 13 days ago but so far God has been right on. Each day I have a conversation or see something that makes me think of a person and thing I should give them.
This practice has been opening up my eyes to the little “God-moments” we have each day but far too often get distracted and forget about them.
Lent has given me the accountability to follow through when God urges me to do something. And it’s helping me listen to God and develop a looser grip on “my stuff.” I am seeing God put people and conversations in my path each day for the simple act of giving away. And honestly, it’s been incredibly powerful… & exposing.
You’ll be hearing more about this as the days pass on. & Not sure I have enough “decent” things to give away but we shall see how God does this. If you get a sock or random stale piece of candy; you’ll know what happened;)