Facebook and Twitter will explode with things that people are giving up: coffee, Facebook, sweets, cursing, working too much, etc. While many things we "give up" or "sacrifice" are legit, we may have wandered away from what Lent is truly about.
Lent is the time period from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Christians from various denominations observe the season of Lent. Lent is when the Church repents, fasts, and prepares for the resurrection of Jesus (Easter Sunday). However we have missed the point.....
This week, I was asked what I gave up for Lent. Nothing. ABSOLUTELY Nothing. Because Lent is more than giving something up. It's about creating space for God in your life. It's about spending more time focused on our inner life (reflection and change) and less time tracking what we gave up for 40 days. I have personally decided to read and write more during Lent. It's where I feel most alive--especially in my writing. During my times of writing, I give the keys of the keyboard to Jesus. [Yes, sounds like a Sunday School answer, but it's true.] I write with the focus of helping others experience Jesus in a more simple, practical, yet beautiful way.
There's a lot of legalism that occurs during Lent. Many people turn Lent into a season of do's and don'ts. They take the stance that you better spend more time at church during Lent--or else you tick off God! Don't get me wrong. I'm not against church attendance. I go pretty regularly. But check this out... The "heart" is mentioned 100's of times in the Bible and many of those times were from the mouth of Jesus himself. He knows the heart is key. We love with our hearts. We hurt with our hearts too.
Lent is about re-centering our hearts. Lent is more about heart change than "doing what we have always done". We have fallen off the path of restoration that Lent is intended to lead us to. If you spend extra time at church this Lenten season, I encourage you to sift through your faith.
Are you too comfortable? Are you living for God or man (or culture)? Is your faith your own or are you just mirroring your parents' faith because you don't want to rock the boat?