Lent is a period of spiritual preparation for Easter, 40 days long. These days most people who observe lent give up chocolate, or coffee or some other small thing to focus their attention on God.
You never thought when Lent began that you would give up:
- going to church
your list may be even longer.
Maybe you think that you've given up enough this Lent, but there are a few things you might not have considered giving up, things that would make your life better, and the burden of this lent lighter
God would like to help us give up:
- hoarding: this practice comes from anxiety and selfishness. It solves no problems for you, and it makes life more difficult for front line workers in stores and supply chains. IT is also "ridiculous and UnAustralian." Verdict: give it up.
- anxiety: Rick Warren in "The Purpose Driven Life" says if you know who to worry about problems, you know how to meditate on goodness. Worry tries to solve problems that you can't change. it looks at problems from every angle over and over again. Worry shows how patient and attentive you can be. Worry drags you down. Now take that patience and attentiveness and apply it to God's good and gracious promises in Scripture. look at them from every angle think about what they tell you about God's control even in bad times, and the good future God is revealing to us. Keep it up. Now ask God for a good memory- and spent some time appreciating all the sensations and emotions you felt at that time. Treasure the goodness that still flows from that memory. Now ask for another memory, now another scripture. overwhelm anxiety with strength flowing from gratitude. Rebuke worry in Jesus' name. Verdict: give up worry.
In the place of all the things you can't do this Lent, try a few new things:
- compliment someone in your home. We're probably going to get a little cabin fever so, before irritability takes over, write a note and put it on a pillow, say a word out of the blue, and so on.
- Call someone more lonely than you. Say how much you miss them, and appreciate them. Make them cry for joy if you can!