Today marks the start of Lent. Traditionally a time for fasting and reflection, it marks the 40 days leading up to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
This is a special season for me. Not only because the death and resurrection of Christ is what enables us to have life everlasting, but also becasue it is a time when I really draw away from the negative and refocus; get new perspective if you will. It is a great time to really reflect on the ultimate sacrafice that God made for us in sending His son to die. As a mother, I can't even begin to imagine sending little eleri anywhere that I can't get to quickly, let alone sending her to die! It was a sacrafice indeed.
This year was tough deciding what I would give up for lent. I couldn't really come up with anything that I felt would serve the purpose of reflection and rememberence properly. In my attempt to come up with something, I looked over this past year (lent to lent) to review- see what was what. After some prayer and thinking I have come up with this:
-I comfort eat. BIG time. When I am sad, happy, angry, confused, stressed, anxious, hurt, pleased- anything- I eat. Not to be confused, I never reach for fruit or raw veggies. Nope. For me it is all crisps and chips and wine gums and then some more crisps. Ok, and some peanuts or cashews as well. Reflecting on this past year I can see some really tough times where my first reaction should have been to really seek the Lord's direction. Instead I found my answers in a bag of West Country Bacon and Cream Cheese Red Sky Crisps. *(they are amazing! I am shipping some over so come to my house when i first land if you want a bite. they wont last long believe me!)*
I didn't really find any answers, but I did find a huge amount of time and energy wasted eating crap and then feeling bad about eating so much crap. A waste. Energy and effort better spent elsewhere.
-I am lazy. Given that the previous discovery was that I eat bags and bags of crips at a time, I can imagine that there is a picture forming in your mind of me, slouched over on the sofa, gourging myself on crisps all day long. That is not quite the case. But I have found by reading through journals and looking at past experiences that sometimes it is all too easy for me to pick the more comfortable, easy thing of staying home instead of getting out to exercise.
This is crucial because exercising is one of the times when I really connect one-to-one with Jesus. I have great prayer time, listen to sermons, scripture and worship music. It is a really soul feeding time and I notice it tremendously when it is not there.
So what am I going to do with those two revelations? And what does it have to do with Lent?
I am giving up snacking on crap outside of normal meal times and I am commiting to exercise in some form everyday.
If I put it out there in the blogging world than it means I actually have to stick to it! Accountability and all that. And what that sentence really says is that I am going to refocus my time and energy onto God. When I am distressed, stressed, upset or even happy instead of finding a snack, I am first going to seek out Jesus. Instead of watching reruns of Cogar Town (which is awesome!) I will get on my running shoes and spend some time talking to God. As I said, Lent is a time for me to really redirect my attentions to things that matter; to get back on track with what is really important. 40 days sounds like a long time at the moment, but I am trusting that the fruit of the sacrifice will make it feel like it was even a sacrifice at all.