Ten Thoughts | On What Lent Means to Me...
I posted this article on my Professional Blog,
But I felt that this Lenten List should be shared with my Classy, BlackGirl. readers. I sincerely hope that you enjoy it and please make comments and share this very heartfelt article about my next 40 days Spiritual path.
As we have entered in the second day of Lent I am moved to think about the sacrifice of Christ to bless the world that He saved. This post crosses all social-cultural lines.
I took some time to think about what I wanted the end of this season to look like for me, who I want to be. The season of Lent is traditionally associated with eating less of the more decadent foods or behaviors as we close out the very rich living that we are blessed to enjoy over the holidays.
Lent is an amazing practice as we fast from some foods and take in more prayer and time with God. I also think about who I would like to become as Resurrection Sunday(traditionally known as Easter) approaches.
Here are 10 Thoughts that I have this season about what Lent means to me.
1. Authentic Change. I am more moved this season because I really want change. I do not want to be the same, I want to be better.
2. Discipline. I am seeking a more disciplined life and cleaner behavior is the key to that. Christ sacrificed his life and was heavily tempted for 40 Days by the Liar of Liars. I can make better more disciplined decisions.
3. Extraction. While I am going to extract foods based on First AME, Oakland's adaptation of The Daniel Fast; I also wish to extract negative and toxic people and activities from my life. Even those that I enjoy. Okay, especially those toxic people and activities that I enjoy.
4. Enrichment. Lent is about removing, but it is also about pouring back. I will be adding more reading of the Word into my life and I am motivated to be more mindful of what I am reading and listening to in my spirit.
5. Intentional Prayer. I typically pray when I wake up and before I go to sleep, but I will also be praying at 6 am, 12 noon and 6 pm. This also ties into discipline and increased communication with Christ and will serve my mind and spirit.
On Sundays I Tweet About My Relationship with Christ and My Church Experiences, I will also be talking about my journey during Lent...please Follow Me on Twitter!
6. Intentional Behavior. I calendar my day and I am intentional about what I am going to do for the day but I am not always intentional about my behavior. I want to make behavioral changes that have a significant impact on how the world sees me as a Christian Woman that they might be interested to get to know Christ through my life and lifestyle.
7. Peace. When we silence the Foolishness and Unnecessary noise in our lives, it truly allows us to focus on what is important and we understand the motto-less is more. Christ did this when He separated Himself for 40 days and was able to prepare Himself for His lifes purpose. If God has truly blessed me "For a Time Such as This" I wonder-am I ready? The Peace that I will experience will also foster proper direction towards the true purpose that God has for me.
8. Devotion and Dedication. I feel like in our Internet society, we are accustomed to popcorn everything. I don't even like to wait for an ebook, I want it downloaded now-right? But devotion and dedication require commitment, even in the sight of difficulties. It is inherent that we remain patient and wait on God to transform us as we actively pursue his presence in our lives. We cannot expect this to happen overnight.
I equate the ebb and flow of my relationship to God as like my struggle with my weight. I have a weight problem, I love to eat, don't like to exercise and can cook my tail off. If I do not display discipline in how often I eat rich foods I will find myself in a slippery slope towards fattness, okay obesity. Im not behaving like I am Devoted to the healthy temple that God has blessed me with. While I am absuing my body and I am stuffing my face I'm not thinking about the consequences on the scale. In the same vein, moving away from God is a slow process, you don't pray as long, you read your Word less, you talk AT God-not with Him and then it becomes easier not to Tithe. Your relationship with God becomes strained...and then without even noticing it, it is almost non-existent. I am looking forward to an increased sense of Devotion and Dedication to the Lord as he has been so incredibly Devoted and Dedicated to me.
9. Understanding and Forgiveness. Understanding begs forgiveness. If we do not have empathy for others we will never be able to understand what motivated them to offend or hurt us and we will never forgive them. This weighs heavy on our own spirits and also causes a disconnect with God. I have people in my life that I need to work on forgiving. I am praying that this Lenten season will make room for the forgiveness process.
10. Love. The greatest of these is Love. I want to embody love, give love, show love and display love. I want to Love others unconditionally and without reservation.
Thank You for Reading My Post on How I Expect Lent to Grow My Life This Season.
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I am grateful that I have a Pastor who understands the need to acknowledge the death and rebirth that must occur in the life of Christians during the season of Lent. This extraction and enriching process is designed to grow us so that we remember how far we have come, but never seek the same low level lifestyle and return.
In Jesus Name, Sharelle D. Lowery