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I must admit that some years, I make a much bigger deal out of Lent than other years.  It is meant to be a time of sacrifice and repentance, honoring the 4o days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness.  Many years I’ve given up sweets or soda.  Some years I haven’t given up anything, too caught up in the surface-level worries of my life to think much of it.  I’ve had friends who have given up elevators, cars, televisions, and other modern conveniences.  Other people add something: they have devotion time every day or stick to a strict work out routine or dedicate time for family each day.

No matter what I give up, I can’t say that I have ever focused on that item as a true sacrifice in honor of Christ.  Yes, I’ll say, “Oh, I can’t–I gave up dessert for Lent” even when I’m dying for that chocolate, but how often do I relate that choice back to the REASON for the sacrifice?  Do I ever let God carry me through the difficult times or moments of weak will power?  Rarely.

This year, my “sacrifice” is as minuscule as all the rest: I’m giving up chips and sweets.  But I want to use this time to really get back on track in my spiritual life.  It’s not that I’ve been too far away, but right now everything in life is running pretty smoothly, and that is something to be truly grateful for.  I know I don’t deserve the grace I’m given, and the least I can do is take time to focus on infusing my life with the peace and love that only Jesus can provide.

I challenge each of you (and myself!) to think of God this Lenten season every time you have to turn something down or add something in, whatever your personal “fast” may be.  Let us be more peaceful people because of it!

I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

-Philippians 4:13

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