Today is the first day of Lent, and people all around me are giving things up- chocolate, smoking, facebook. When I googled it, the internet informed me that we give things up for Lent so that we can share in the suffering of Christ so that we can share in his Resurrection, too. We give up things that we love, but I don’t know that we replace them with things that grow our relationships with Christ or with others. If Lent is the season of turning back to God, recommitting our lives to him and shaping them to be lives that are in a better place with him, wouldn’t it also be true that God wants more than our suffering.
Our God is a relational God. He doesn’t just want our suffering, he also wants our passions. He wants our best lived life. In a time of the year where we begin to think about how passionately Christ loved us, how far He was willing to go, and how much He was willing to give, it’s impossible to think that we don’t owe the world a reflection of that love.
So I’ve been thinking about the next 40 days. Maybe this isn’t the year to give something up, but rather the year to give something back. Maybe this is the year where I should be less worried about my own suffering and more concerned about assuaging the suffering of others.
So for the next 40 days I will be trying to complete a challenge a day to find big ways and little ways to give back to the people in my life, to God, and to myself. My day 1 challenge was to make this post. My day 2 will be to try to come up with a list of challenges.
Stay tuned, I’m excited to see how God responds to my desire to grow.