I was asked today “what are you giving up for Lent?” I understand what they meant, but must clearly say, I do not give up things for “Lent” – I give up things for God. I want to Know Him and Make Him Known. And, I’m striving to do a few unique things over the next 40 days leading up to Easter, that will allow me to focus on the Lord’s purpose for me and those He’s called me to lead.
Please understand, I’m not calling my decisions a “fast” – this term is interpreted differently by people of faith (some believe it must be only food, others believe it can be TV, social media, etc…) – ultimately, fasting is a personal commitment between you & God. I fast regularly. I need it. It makes me more focused, faithful and fervent. And, I will fast, as directed, throughout this season.
But, in today’s blog, I’m talking about ‘giving up a few things’ during this season that don’t automatically fall into the category of fasting (simply said, I won’t/can’t necessarily pray in their place as you would with fasting). Here’s what I’m changing:
- Chop Sticks – for 40 days I’m going to do my best to NOT use silverware but instead use chop sticks. There are a few reason for this: 1) I want to focus on the large majority of the world who use chop sticks: Asia. I’m praying for missionaries, underground churches and bold believers in this HUGE part of the world. I’m praying for Geoff and Andrea Bassett preparing to go to China.
2) I also want to THINK about everything I put into my mouth. Chop Sticks will slow down ‘meals’ and cause me to look, consider and decide what I put into God’s Temple and why. Plus it’s hard to eat pizza, open a candy bar or lift a hamburger with two little sticks! 😉
- Little Blue Birds – I’m limiting my participation in social media to Twitter and Instagram. There’s lots of other forms demanding my time & attention but, for at least 40 days, I won’t be on Facebook, LinkIn, Pinterest, etc. Now, there will be updates from me that show up on these sources via Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr (this blog) but I won’t be on those sites. Please don’t message me there. The reason I’m doing this is to, again, be more deliberate & focused with my time. More REAL LIFE conversations and more READING God’s Word and other books.
- Running Shoes – yeah, yeah, yeah… I’ve got to get back to running, elliptical and working out on a regular basis. So, for the next 40 days I’m wearing running shoes every day – you can then ask me ‘how’s it going?’ and I’ll be accountable to myself and anyone who looks puzzled at my choice of footwear. Oh boy…
So, yeah, there’s a look right into my heart. I’m SO imperfect in SO many ways. That’s not a cry for sympathy but a mandate for change. Christ has reminded me that I can & should be better. Improvements in these three little areas (above) will cause dramatic improvements in my personal life and, hopefully, in the ministries that I love & lead.
By the way, there’s some AMAZING THINGS that our church will do in these 40 days. That’s for another blog…
39 days to go, Chilly