Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Lenten Season

Giving up all electronics one night a week.
Fasting after 7 PM.
No television.
Fasting from dairy, meat, or bread.
Not wearing makeup for 40 days.
Quitting smoking, or swearing.
Not giving out my opinion unless asked for it.

These are some of the answers I received when I asked others what they were doing for Lent this year.  (Read last year's post here.)

I like to remind people that while you are giving up something that takes you away from the Lord, it's important to add something that brings you closer to Him. And you don't even have to go that far. As I say with any fast, you must return to the Father whenever that temptation arises. For example, in January when I fasted from eating after 6 PM, there were many days my stomach wasn't in agreement. Instead of breaking down and filling myself with food, I filled myself with the Word. I turned to God and drew closer to Him. When that late night TV show or cigarette or negative remark is calling your name, close your eyes and bow your head. Call upon the Father in prayer. Lose yourself in Scripture.

On the way to work in the mornings I listen to a great Christian morning show. Today they were talking about the Lenten season and spoke about accordion words, like "good-bye" and "hobo." These are words that stood for something but were shortened. The phrase "God be with you" is where we get good-bye from, and hobo comes from "homeward bound." (Civil War Vets were called hobos as they made their way back to their families.) The hosts were mentioning how people observing Lent can be looked at as hobos, because we're on our way home. We're using this time to bring us closer to God. I really liked this visual.

This year I'm adding something in honor of Lent. Scripture says, "What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV)

I really enjoy NIV's translation: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

This scripture has been speaking to me over the past few days. God has laid it on my heart, and I'm encouraged to be proactive about it. I haven't been glorifying Him with my body lately. Although I'm always health-conscience about what I put into my body, I'm lacking in the physical part. This past month, I have no motivation when I get home from work. (I partly blame it on the cold weather and the cold house. All I want to do is curl up in a blanket on the couch.) I fear I've become lazy (!) in this department. Even my yoga hasn't been doing it for me. I'm stuck in a rut and need to do something about it.

And, most importantly, God knows I'm in this rut. One thing I know about my Father, he cares about everything involving his children. Even the tiniest things, like my workout routines. He knows how they motivate and de-stress me, how my yoga practice brings me closer to Him, and how I haven't been doing them lately. There's an "answer" for everything in His Word. For this season, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 is mine.

For the next 40 days I'm glorifying the Father with my body. I'm leaning on Him for the strength and motivation to add 20 minutes of physical activity (not counting my yoga or story time programs at work) every day this Lenten season. I need to get out of this rut! My body needed a wake up call, and I got it.

Are you observing Lent? What are you giving up or adding this season?

Enjoy this video by Matt Maher. "40 Days" is a cartoon-like/illustration video on Maher's interpretation of Jesus' 40 days of temptation in the desert.

With Love and God Bless,

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