This Lent Will Be Less… and More
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Today is “St. Valentine’s Day” and we celebrate Love. But I’m reminded of the ultimate Love Story:
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends… I have called you friends.” (Jesus speaking in John 15)
We are loved. So much. But Jesus’ words also hint at sacrifice.
Because today is also “Ash Wednesday” – a day to remember sacrificial love. Many of us will begin our journey through the holy season of Lent – which comes from the old Saxon word meaning ‘lengthening of days.’
Even as the cold, wintry days are gradually lengthening, so are our souls moving from winter into the spring of new life and hope. This practice of a 40-day preparation began in the 3rd century and is a great way to seek God, culminating in the grand celebration on Resurrection Sunday – Easter (April 1, 2018)!
Often believers will use these forty days to outwardly fast from something in order to focus more on their inner faith journey. Less of ___________________ and more of Jesus.
In my ongoing effort to simplify various areas of my life, I have chosen during Lent to fast from buying stuff, except for food. (Can you hear my hubby loudly singing the Hallelujah Chorus?)
Even though I don’t have a lot of money, I somehow manage to find plenty of ways to spend it on little gifts for others, clothes, accessories, home décor, stationery, books, or the latest gadget designed to simplify my life. How ironic is that?
Too often this “stuff” represents my feeble attempts to fill the empty spaces.
No more. No spending that way. In fact, instead of collecting I hope to be (re)distributing much of the stuff I already have. After all, “Your home is a living space, not a storage space.” (from “The Joy of Less”)
I’ll let you know where and how this frees me up to focus elsewhere…
Do you truly want More of Jesus? If so, why not use these forty days before Easter as a process in which you draw near and go deep? Begin each day with time in God’s Word and prayer.
Note: There is an abundance of wonderful Lenten devotionals available in book form and online. In fact, my own “Dwelling Places” has a 40-day section “Renew” which gives you two pages a day from now through Easter.
What do you want Less of? Less stress? Less clutter? Less busyness? Less noise? Less worry? Less drama? Less snow and ice (sorry, but I live in New England and it just came out…)? Take these cares and concerns to Jesus today. Open your hands full of the “stuff” and lay them down at the foot of the cross.
He will pick them up. He will carry your burden. He will give you More.
“I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” John 10.10
under the mercy, Lucinda
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength”
©2018 Lucinda Secrest McDowell http://www.EncouragingWords.net
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