Thursday, February 14, 2013

Embracing Tradition: Lent

image from here

I grew up Catholic so giving up things for Lent has been practically ingrained in my DNA. For many years after I came to really know the Lord and call myself a Christian again, I resisted the Lenten rituals as too formulaic and archaic. As the years have gone by, however, I have come to crave some of the more formal and traditional expressions of my faith. Often in our desire to be sola scriptura Protestants have overlooked so many of the beautiful and historical aspects of Christianity. One of the ways that some (though obviously not all) have pulled away from the dreaded T word, that is tradition, is by disregarding the liturgical calendar. This in itself is neither, as its core, good or bad as such things are, I believe, not fundamental to our faith.

Yet, I have increasingly found that I really enjoy embracing some of the things from my Catholic roots. Last year was the first year is many that I chose to abstain from something during Lent. I chose to give up something that was near and dear to me... Diet Pepsi. While that might seems silly, it was difficult for me and it brought my attention to the areas of my life where I had not allowed the Holy Spirit to really shine His light on. Yet, as soon as Lent was over, I was back to drinking Diet Pepsi.

I am continuing on my quest to weed out things that are not of Him this year. About 2 weeks ago, I gave up soda. It hasn't been perfect and I had two slips, but I am not wasting money on soda nor am I obsessed with always having it. I have healthier and crave less sugar. Along with mostly cutting out facebook and getting rid of Twitter, I have seen drastic improvements in the clarity of my mind and my focus on more important things.

In many ways, I have been living out Lent for much of 2013. Yet, knowing that I am joining with millions of other believers around the world in giving up something that we like to do, eat, or drink and focusing more on God gives me a sense of connectedness that I very much cherish. More than ever, it is important for me to spend this Lenten season in solemn contemplation and focus on God. Thus, I have going big! Other than this blog, I will visit no other blogs of any kind. Facebook and Pinterest will be gone! Basically, I am limiting my computer to school only things.

 I want to spend more time with less stuff crammed in my mind. I expect to hear the voice of the Lord in some big ways and welcome His correction in my life. It is possible that these changes might be permanent (or I will learn how to control myself), but I am focusing just on this season and what God might have me to do. I am looking forward with sharing my Lenten Reflections each Thursday during Lent!