Saturday, February 28, 2009
Today I am inspired to ramble a bit about lent-- inspired by my friend Krissi who also mentioned this season in her blog recently. I (Gina) grew up (partly) Catholic. Growing up Catholic can mean a lot of different things to different people depending on their experiences. For me, it meant 45 minutes of church every Sunday and going to catechism (catholic sunday school, which oddly met in the afternoons during the week instead) to learn how to recieve my first communion. Because we stopped going to church when I was about 12, I never got past the first communion thing to be confirmed and all that. As far as Lent goes, I can't remember doing much with it except getting a gray dusty cross on my forehead on a certain sunday.
The years went by and I hadn't thought much about it until I came to the realization Jesus is the King and Creator of the Universe and deserves my very heart and life (when I was about 20 years old). That is the time I remember as becoming a daughter of God. It was then also that I found out other people besides Catholic people gave things up during Lent. As a new believer in Jesus, I gave things up such as chocolate, coffee, etc. I will admit I have ignored this very cool practice in the last several years. But this year, my friend mentioned he was giving up soda for Lent. "Geez," I thought, "Maybe I should do something too."
Not because it was something I am SUPPOSED to do-- I am pretty sure God isn't taking down names and things people are giving up for Lent. But I realized at that moment that I have been pretty self centered lately. When I gave my life to God ten years ago everything changed, and my heart was suddenly focused on what He had for me in this life-- relating and talking with Him, and seeing the miracles and changes He brought about. I have gotten away from that focus and I will admit my heart has felt more empty than when I was in constant communication with Him, recieving His love and encouragement and being molded into the person I was born to be.
So, Lent. Remembering what Jesus gave up (His very breath) for me has reminded me that every relationship is a two way street. He sacrificed for me. And as I remembered that, I wanted to give something back to Him. Not to earn brownie points with Him (I am totally accepted and loved by Him as I am thanks to Jesus), but to bless His heart. I want to contribute to His happiness and joy, to let Him know I love what He did for me.
It has been cool for me to remember my Catholic roots in the last week or so, and to think about how God used that time in my life to make me who I am today. So, I have decided that because I spend so much time on Facebook (can anyone relate??), I will only spend a few minutes a day checking that account during the time of Lent. I am doing this because it is something that takes up too much my time and energy-- time that I often could be spending with Him. My heart misses God. So I am hoping this season of Lent will bring my heart closer to His and bring me back to the awesome close relationship I have shared in the past with Him.