Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why I gave up tea for Lent

Renee and I spent some time last night praying about what the Lord would have us do for this Lenten season, largely at the recommendation of Dr. Peters, priest and professor extraordinaire. It sounds silly to me to say it, but I've never asked this of the Lord at Lent before. I've just picked something and gone with it. It occurred to me as we prayed that every Lenten sacrifice I've ever made involved giving up something that wasn't good for me anyway. Lent has always served as an excuse to make a positive life change and that's about it. But yesterday as I prayed and thought about the purpose of the season, it seemed like the Lord might be calling me to something different this year.

"Why don't I give up tea?" The thought seemed silly. It's not bad for me. In fact it's good for me, so what's the point? If the point of Lent is to make a sacrifice to remind us of Christ's sacrifice, why does my mind always go to things that are bad for me? The apostle Paul writes that everything is lawful, but not everything is beneficial. Why must I give up only those things that are lawful but not beneficial? Why not something that is both lawful and beneficial?

Is it more of a sacrifice to freely give up something that is good for me and that I enjoy in order to suffer in some small way with Christ? I don't know. But I think the real question is: does Christ matter enough to me to make a change in my life, temporary though it certainly is, that there's no other reason for me to make? He is. And, believe it or not, one day without tea has provided plenty of opportunities to pause and reflect on Christ's suffering.

If I could encourage you to do one thing this Lent, it would be to pause and ask the Lord what He might have you do this season, even if it's out of the ordinary or perhaps even strange. If I could encourage you to do two things the second would be to do what the Lord is calling you to do.

May the peace of Christ be with you.

1 comment:

Skip said...

Yay for the much awaited for return!

Good insights and I hope to see many more. =)