Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lent: Not Giving Up but Giving More

Lent is about giving up, about sacrifice—and as one who tends to love duty, as one who craves to do lists and tasks to obey, I secretly love self-discipline and the rewarded feeling at the end of 40 days when I've accomplished my "task," whatever it is I've chosen to give up: “Yep, I still got it.”

This year, as many of my friends begin thinking of what to fast, what to give up, I feel God gently whispering: don’t give up, give more—more of your time, more of your energy, more of yourself to me and to others.
Don’t give up TV or soft drinks, give up your life for me.

If Lent is about preparing our hearts for Easter, about reflecting on the great exchange: my guilt, my sins, my shame—my ashes for His beauty, then may the next 40 days, for me, be about reflecting on Him: on who He is and what He did and who I get to be when I’m hidden in Christ, when I’m made righteous, when the work of the cross is finished—really finished—and I get to be made whole, complete, perfect, lacking nothing.

Not because I’m those things, but because He loves me so; He loves me so much; He loves me so much that He gave.

And if I’m to give anything these 40 days, let me give of myself fully.

I’ve read some blogs today promoting Margret Feinberg’s 40 day reading challenge, and although (if I’m honest), I get excited when I see little check boxes (That feels like a “to do” list for me to accomplish! Yes!), I have decided to focus these 40 days on the New Testament, as Feinberg encourages—not as something to do, but something to reflect: the story of the cross, of redemption, of the great exchange.

If you’re interested in joining me, you can read more here or print the reading plan here.

May the challenge for me—and perhaps for you, too—not be about legalism or about what I can accomplish with the right motivation and all the wrong motives; may these 40 days be about pouring out all of me and pouring in more of Him. 

1 comment:

Margaret Feinberg said...

Laura, I am so thrilled you are joining us for the #LentChallenge! I am praying for your time and can't wait to hear what you learn during this season.