This is the first time I am observing the Lent. I mean I have observed other people observing the lent season but I have never done it for myself. My Roman Catholic friends often gave up small luxuries like chocolates or sugar or even meat and vices like smoking for the Lent season, some also took to fasting. After my new years resolution to eat healthy
failed miserably did not pan out (thats one post still hanging around in the drafts folder), I was looking for another serious motivation to get back to healthy eating and obviously I thought what great way to combine it with faith during lent. However it is much more than that. In a recent edition of Slice of Infinity, Margaret Manning writes
” For Christians, the journey through Lent offers a visible and living reminder of the fact that life entails death; it cannot be circumnavigated or avoided. Those who follow the path of Lent are presented with a similar decision: will the giving up of aspects we believe essential to our vision of a wonderful life lead us to bitterness or to hope? The discipline of Lent often reveals hands grasped tightly and tenaciously around ideals that must give way to new realities. Author M. Craig Barnes suggests that the journey away from our own sense of what makes for a wonderful life is actually the process of conversion. “It is impossible to follow Jesus and not be led away from something. That journey away from the former places and toward the new place is what converts us. Conversion is not simply the acceptance of a theological formula for eternal salvation. Of course it is that, but it is so much more. It is the discovery of God’s painful, beautiful, ongoing creativity along the way in our lives.”* ”
I was a late comer to Christ plus the fact that Lent as a period of fasting or giving up luxuries is not really observed in many protestant denominations meant I never actually followed the so called church traditions (except for the Lord’s Table). This year however I have a deep longing to develop spiritual disciplines and I am considering this lent season as my launch-pad into the year ahead. I have committed to cut down on my sugar intake and also to reading the word and meditating. It’s a measurable period of time and I felt it would be easy to remain accountable.
Many-a-car-bumper-stickers proclaim the crucifixion and resurrection as the reason behind the season (of christmas). So as we draw close to the reason I created a lent countdown calendar for myself and thought of sharing it here for those of you who may be participating. I am bit late in posting this but I crossed of some days for you ! Please feel free to download the image for your personal use.
* – M. Craig Barnes, When God Interrupts: Finding New Life Through Unwanted Change(Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 21