I grew up in the Episcopal church, or as I like to call it, “Catholic Light”. And as long as I can remember I’ve been giving things up for Lent – chocolate, soda, candy, etc. My friend Jen still teases me because our freshman year of college I ate a grilled cheese sandwich from The Main nearly every day. So when Lent rolled around I knew what I had to do, for my faith, and for my waist line.
My annual “what are you giving up?” conversation with my dad went something like this that year:
Dad: “What are you giving up for Lent?”
Me: “Grilled Cheese sandwiches”
Dad: “Is this a joke?”
Me: “You cannot begin to comprehend this sacrifice.”
They were buttery, cheesy and altogether wonderful and I would pay cash money for one right now. I make no apologies for this.
But here’s what I’ve learned from 29 years of Lenten seasons:
The giving up of things is easy. The reflection and reliance on God is not.
I’m generally able to live without chocolate or soda, or even my beloved grilled cheese, for 40 days. But what I have failed to do is lean on God and spend 40 days in prayer like Jesus did. If the purpose of Lent is reflection, well, then I’ve been doing it wrong.
So this year, I’m doing something different. I’m giving up soda, as per usual. But in addition to that, I’m going to take on praying for 1 person every day for 40 days. 40 people. Every time I want a soda, I will pray for that person instead.
I sincerely hope this commitment to prayer draws me closer to the Lord, and to the people in my life. I want to use this time to reflect and be in communion with God. I want to be intentional in my relationships and in my prayers.
I’ve made my prayer list – and jotted down names in my planner to help me remember each day. However, I would love to know if anyone reading this is in need of prayer – I’d be honored to pray for you. You can leave a comment or send me an e-mail by using the contact link above.
And if you’d like to join me in this prayer challenge, I’d love that more than I can say. I can’t wait to see what God does in the next 6 weeks.
Enjoy this time of prayer and reflection, friends. And by all means, serve up a buttery grilled cheese sandwich and call it dinner tonight.
Because if grilled cheese is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.