Hopefully all of my Catholic friends out there will forgive me when I say that I have never really understand some of the crazy ways that I have seen people observe Lent. I honestly can’t see how giving up red meat or chocolate or anything else can help me identify with the sufferings of Christ. His suffering for our sins on the cross was so very much more than giving up a convenience or a desire. His suffering was personal and agonizing and much more real than some of these “deprivations” seem to depict.
So, for the most part, I have never given any thought to observing Lent in my own life. Some of these rituals just seem too … simple. But today, I read this post at The Rabbit Room that discusses giving up so much more than a convenience. Jason Gray has this to say about the way that he observes the season of Lent:
What we did that first Lent and have been doing since is pray that the Lord would reveal to us anything that has some kind of lordship or mastery over us, anything that is competing with the supremacy of Christ for our attention and affection. As the Spirit convicts and reveals what that particular thing is, then that is what we give up for lent.
The idea of giving the Lord one of my besetting sins (and there are many) seems so much more sacrificial than giving up Diet Cokes. You know those consuming sins in your own life – anything that the Holy Spirit reveals to you is standing in the way of your become more Christ-like. Those favorite sins that are so easily excused, or that creep back into your heart time and time again.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24