Wow- the season of Lent has just flown past.
I believe Lent is more about change than it is about giving up just for the giving up. If you give up eating out, then maybe you would want to consider giving a portion of the money you saved to the church for its ministries and upkeep or to another organization that helps with something you are passionate about. I will say that I discourage from any Lenten spiritual efforts that involve food. Not because it doesn’t make a difference, but because in our country there is a lot of food insecurity and mental, emotional and physical issues attached to food. But if you take on something, such as exercising, it will be wasted effort if you don’t continue. You see, there would be no change. Would that count as a spiritual exercise?
Jake, our son, has given up being lazy for Lent. Proverbs 6:6-11 gives him good guidance on why this is a good practice for him. It means every day he does something he doesn’t want to do, in order to feel good about himself. He said it also helps him feel happier knowing that something he has been putting off is no longer hanging over his head. I wish I had thought of that. But, instead, I went down a different path.
Let me share my Lenten thoughts and experience.
My Lenten exercise has just about broken me. I gave up Amazon! My idea was this would force me to get out and interact with people who are working in the communities where my family does business. Hebrews 10:23-25 makes a point that I am trying hard to work towards. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. That was the intended goal of my challenge for Lent. But that does not mean it is the only benefit I have found.
I have not purchased anything for myself or my household from any online store, including Amazon, since February 22. I even went so far as to put my subscriptions on hold. That’s right, no quarterly shipment of my favorite shampoo no monthly shipment of Milk Bones Extra Large treat bones. It’s been hard on me and the dogs. The vet, our beloved Dr. Chapmen, was pleased at the weight loss for Brick and Cookie. Brick and Cookie are not pleased because the weight loss is directly connected to a lack of treats. No monthly case of Animal Crackers for the goats. It has made the goats very mad at me, very, Very, VERY mad. Crumbles has placed the blame for his unhappiness squarely on me.
Now yes, I am going to go back to ordering things from Amazon. I live out in the country and it can take a whole day for us to go to the store and find everything we need. BUT, I will be ordering less, asking everything to be delivered on one day each week. And that will save money, which I will be able to direct towards other projects that I care deeply about.
And the season of Lent- all the money I have saved from avoiding the siren’s song of Amazon is earmarked for two special, personal projects. But I can tell you this, both will change lives. One locally, one universally. And for me, that change is enough.
My exercise is already changing how I see my spending, my imagined needs as opposed to my real needs. And I assure you, this spiritual exercise is wearing me out and down. I just hope I can hold on and keep the animals from enacting a coup against me until April 10.
Keep up the good work! Jesus kept up the good work and made massive changes in his days on earth and our eternity. See what kind of changes you make.
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