Halfway Checkpoint on Lent: What I’ve Learned So Far

Halfway Checkpoint on Lent: What I’ve Learned So Far

We are halfway through Lent already! The first half is over and now it’s time to evaluate how we are doing. How are we doing with our resolutions? Has anything changed?  What has God been teaching us? Have we learned something? Have a seat! I will share how my journey has been going and I would love to hear about your experiences!

I guess fasting in any form brings us little distress. That is a good think if we use it to drive us closer to God. The purpose of Lent is to get us ready to receive the joy of resurrection. If fasting can bring us closer to God making us more alive, more human, and more alert to God I am all for it.

Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets. And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. (2 Cor. 7:10-11, MSG)

One of the things I’ve learned this Lent is that we truly are human beings. I tend to live in my head, heart & soul and tend to forget the physical part of the equation. That’s why it has been a blessing for me to pay attention to what I eat and how that affects my well being. We are called to praise the Lord with our bodies, too. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. For being reminded of this I am very grateful.

God wants us to take good care of ourselves. As I’ve been praying for God to show me what it means (to me) to live healthily I’ve been directed to ask myself “Would you give this for your children to eat?” I want only the best for our children. (Yeah, I’m a tiger momma). I was asked “Why would you want any less for yourself?” Quite life-changing for sure! We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. But we are called to love ourselves, too. We are called to live our faith out in our everyday lives and not just keep faith abstract and separated from our real lives.

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original. (Galatians 5: 25-26, MSG)

The point during Lent is to ask God if there is anything in our lives that needs to be changed or removed in order to serve God better. God deals personally with each of us. What I do for Lent would not necessarily be relevant for you. So it does not matter whether you fast or not. The main thing is that we have an on-going conversation with God.

I felt called to read all the four Gospels during the Lent. I am happy to report I’ve finished reading Matthew and Mark and I am moving into Luke and John now. I’ve found it truly wonderful to be reading and reflecting on the life of Jesus Christ during the Lent. But, of course, any Bible reading can help you getting ready for the Easter joy!

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. (Galatians 6: 4-5, MSG)

As I continue my lenten journey I will continue to bring my life to God asking guidance to grow deeper in God’s grace. I have asked God to prepare myself for his service and the process will continue. I want to do my creative best with my own life. I took up blogging every day during the Lent and so far God has made this possible. I will continue to do so during the last 20 days of Lent, too, if God’s willing.

I am humbled how much tender loving care God Almighty shows each of us. There is no reason to compare ourselves to others. It’s all God’s grace anyway. All God’s grace. Thanks be to God!

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for loving us
and calling us into your presence.
Thank you for working in us
and preparing us for your work.
Show us what needs to go.
Show us what needs to be remembered.
Show us what needs to be added on.
Show us the way, the truth and the life.
Show us how to live our lives fully.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How was the first 20 days of Lent for you? What has God been teaching to you?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you continue your lenten journey! Go to God with all your problems and questions! He is more than happy to direct your path!

Photo courtesy of Chad Madden.

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