In honor of Ash Wednesday I have been doing a significant amount of research online to try to understand the true meaning of Lent. From what I have read, it seems that Lent isn’t really just about sacrifice, but rather it’s about learning to lean on God.
So it is in that spirit that I have decided to give up everything and nothing for Lent. There are so many times during my days that I feel things like boredom, loneliness, frustration, anger, etc. and in the past I have used alcohol to overcome those feelings. Having decided to give up alcohol for this whole year, I have found that I still haven’t dealt with so many things head-on. I have simply chosen new “things” to use to run from these unpleasant feelings.
I have used everything from chocolate to Starbucks tea to people to avoid trying to understand why I feel lonely, bored, frustrated. There is nothing inherently wrong with having a cup of tea, or a few chocolates, or even a glass of wine. It’s only when those things become something I need to get through my day, or to solve some problem I have that they become an issue. None of those things will take care of my negative feelings long term. Only God can do that, but I never go to God first. I go to God only when all else fails.
So for the next forty days, my plan for Lent, is to make a conscious effort to put God first, before the tea, the chocolate, or whatever else is taking His place. For me, that means reading my Bible. It’s the place I go to when I want to learn more about who God is and what He wants from me. It’s where I go when I am looking for strength, wisdom and guidance.
I am excited about the next 40 days. My hope is that I will have a greater appreciation for what Jesus suffered in the wilderness, during His time of temptation. And that I will have a deeper understanding of the true meaning of Easter Sunday.