Thursday, March 3, 2011

"What are you giving up for lent?"

I grew up with that question. One year it was chocolate, another it was TV for about five minutes. Not sure what I gave up all those years ago. I know in my twenties I was pretty good about not eating meat on Fridays. I know for sure that one Ash Wednesday, my friend Barbara and I went to a diner at 11:40 pm and asked the waitress to not serve us our bacon cheese burgers until after midnight...hey, we were trying to the right thing.

Today, I am faced with a fasting challenge again. The kids are asking about doing vs giving up. Last year, my oldest did a 40 day fast of meat and snacks. She kept herself to fish and fruit. Not bad for a 14 year old at the time.

There is such power in fasting and praying together. I want that. I want to draw close to God because I know He will draw close to me. Simple. I need that kind of explosion in my walk with Him in this season.

So fruits, veggies, fish? What will my fast look like? I have to say, I am leaning heavily towards...a tech fast too. The horror. Talk about sacrifice!

It created some interesting dinner conversation last night:

Jack thought he would give up taking out the garbage...I told him he should try something new instead...he already doesn't do that on a regular basis.

Caity started this past Wednesday, 'cause she thought it was the 40 day mark...Love her.

Brennan ceased to be involved in the conversation.

Liz said she wasn't sure.

Maggie wanted to know if she was too little to do a fast of any, no kiddo. You are not to little.

John thought it would be nice to do a family devotion time together...except that these days, we often don't see Liz until 9:00pm....too late for the little ones. Not to mention his work schedule.
And the mornings are out just because of the train-like schedule we keep. We are still trying to work out that one. Hmmm.

By the time we were clearing the dishes, John had reminded them it is not about the logistics of the fast. If they are only doing it to fulfill an obligation, they should not bother. The point to making a sacrifice is to spend time with God and to seek His face more intensely. And not just so they can get something like a pat on the back from God for it. There is nothing we can do to earn His love. But we can remove something we love for a season to love more intensely on Him. Besides all that, fasting without prayer is just self deprivation. It might make us lean towards a more disciplined life but not one that can affect any real change in us. And the point is to be changed more deeply into the likeness of Christ...who prayed and fasted.

The whole conversation gave me something to chew on...along with my carbs that I love so deeply. I know, maybe I could give up my nap? I'll get back to you on that one!

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