January always makes me laugh. Its full of those make believe action plans and #2016goals that never last more than a few days. Those innocent four fresh weeks of the new year float by and before you know it February is looking in your face like “how you like that gym membership now punk?!”. If you’re like me and trying to avoid the February walk of shame, why not try and embrace Lent this year instead?
Before Jesus began all of the epic things that he did, he took about 40 days to chill out with God in the desert. After those 40 days, he got hella busy and did all of the holy ghost-power ranger- awesome-amazing Jesus-y things that he’s famous for.
But what I love is that before that, he chilled. He took time out. He prayed. He fasted, denied himself. Then he changed the world. Lent is a time for us to do the same.
If I’m honest, my New Years resolutions are often quite shallow, #newyearnewme and usually focuses around me trying to look better. Life is always so busy and our consumerist culture is always tricking us into thinking selfishly. Lent is a great tradition that helps us to refocus and think outside of ourselves, just like Jesus did.
Typically during the 40 days of Lent people often give up something that they enjoy or that they consider a distraction. Whatever Lent looks like for you, let it be something that reminds you daily to be a little more like Jesus by denying yourself and loving others well. If you’re gonna give something up like sweets, coffee or social media, then don’t make a fuss about it, just get on with it. If you’re gonna try and pray a bit more then go ahead, but do it privately. If you’re gonna do something nice for someone, or give up your time to serve somewhere, then great, remember to do it with a smile on your face (Matthew 6 paraphrased).
This year Lent begins on February 10th. If you’re up for giving it a go, God will most definitely use it to shape you into becoming a better you.