Giving Up Giving Up

It is both incredible and embarrassing to me that I have not written anything anywhere for quite a long time. The months seems to have flown by and yet feels like forever since I have sat in front of this keyboard to write anything meaningful other than the weekly sermon at church. Yesterday marked the first Sunday of Lent. It is arguably the most significant season of the Christian calendar.

I have noticed an increase in talk about Lent, and participation in varying ways among Christians. Much of it surrounds what the person plans to give up for Lent, in a simplistic attempt of penance and denial, a historical lenten value and posture.

I heard somebody speaking about this, comparing the spiritual depth of the current fad of denial during Lent to resolution-making at New Year’s Eve. It is so true! A week later, the fuel tank of best intentions often runs dry. What does it really mean for most people anyway? The whole point of fasting and denial is to carve out time and space to worship and focus on the Lord and His work on the Cross.

I admit that I have not made any commitments to fast or deny myself for Lent this year. In fact, the thought occurred to me that I might need to start something to focus more on the Lord. Or, more accurately, re-start something that I have been neglecting the last 6 months or so: writing.

I’m confident it will feel like penance.

The words do not flow as easily as they have in the past. It is more like turning the handle of a rusty crank engine, hoping for a spark. Fortunately, Lent allows us the opportunity to give up that which keeps us from focusing on Christ.

In my case, it is “giving up” on that which I am supposed to do. It also is a reminder that like Jesus in the wilderness, we can trust our heavenly Father to provide all that we need, to do what we need to do, even when we are in need.