Chocolate. Smoking. Facebook.
Soda. Pizza. Swearing.
Smart Phone. Complaining. TV.
What are you giving up for Lent?
Alcohol. Procrastinating. Fast food.
Shopping. Salt. Red Meat.
Caffeine. Gossip. Selfishness.
There are so many things people give up for Lent. You could choose any one of them to help you focus spiritually this season, or…
You could just give up.
As in, “I give up!”
As in, “My hands are raised in the air, God. This is me giving up!”
As in, “I surrender”.
This is not an easy thing to do. Remember Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane? He says, “My Father if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) , and then, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Matthew 26:42
That passage is not about Jesus wanting to give up drinking for Lent! It’s about Jesus putting his life in God’s hands. He gives up his own human desire for self-preservation, and surrenders himself into God’s will.
This is what I want to do, this year. I want to try. I want to give up for Lent. For me, giving up means consciously resisting the urges I have to resist God. I want to avail myself of God’s will as much as I can.
That means trying, at least, to give up some of my worst habits. My overwhelming desire for comfort. My fear of speaking and acting in faith. The pain that has me looking at the world through jaded eyes.
I want to give all that up! Release it into the cosmos. Then I want to listen obediently.
I do not expect God will lead me to a cross. But I expect God will lead me. And giving up is my sign of willingness to follow.
Along the way I may eat a little chocolate. I may complain a bit. I may stumble and fall, for the journey to the cross is not always easy.
But I will rest in the knowledge of the One…
Who never gives up on me.
Have a great week,