Yesterday I had a thought pop into my head that wouldn’t go away. I realized the Lenten season was upon us and that it would be a good idea to give up something I value until Easter Sunday. Uh, oh.
The object of my desire came to me like a slap in the face…cheese. Yes, cheese.
I know, doesn’t sound like much, but I live in Texas where we are all about the queso!! Cheese is on our sandwiches, enchiladas, macaroni, salads, eggs, chips, tortillas and everything else we put into our mouths on a daily basis. Where in the world did this idea come from???
My first reaction was to argue with God and ask if I could give up something easier…like vacuuming. I don’t like to clean and it would be really easy to take that task off of my hands. Plus, I’d probably have a greater chance of succeeding, too.
Nope. The decision was already made. Cheese was to be my sacrifice. Oh goodness – some big girl panties are definitely required to get me through the next six weeks!!
Now, tell me what Lent is again and why I need to give up cheese? Here is a little background.
- Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday.
- The 40 days (excluding Sundays in case you count them) of Lent is a representation of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by the devil and fasting. Read Matthew 4:1-11 for the full story of Jesus’ temptation. FYI – the 40 days is not counted the same in all churches, either.
- According to Wikipedia, “The traditional purpose of Lent is the penitential preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
The Lenten Season gives us an opportunity to reflect and respond to the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross for the entire world. It is a chance to surrender a little piece of ourselves and allow God to work His miracles in us.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Of course, the sacrifices that we humans make won’t help God one iota. However, God knows that sacrifice will soften our hearts and prepare us to travel the road He has in store for us. Sacrifice is connected to the obedience we talked about last week. Both of these practices are not for God…they are for us. We just have to take the first step towards God and allow Him to do the rest.
Obviously, giving something up for Lent is not for everyone. In fact, it’s never been for me before this year. However, I’m interested to see what changes will occur in my life because I’m responding to a nudge I received that could only be from God. Who else would ask me to give up cheese?
What sacrifices have you made lately? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 24:5-6 – A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisors.