I've been working with a few other people from our church to come up with a curriculum to teach the children at our church about Lent and Easter. I found this website which does a good job of explaining Lent in easier to understand terms.
God has given us a great and comforting gift...But it's easy to forget what God has done for us. We forget that it was because of our wrong that Jesus was punished. We are wrong when we try to make ourselves happy by eating lots of candy and junk food, by buying lots toys or watching too much TV. We fill up with all sorts of things, always hoping that they will make us happy, but it doesn't last very long. We just end up wanting more. We are never satisfied by these things. During Lent, many Christians try to stop filling up with junk food and TV and all these other things to make room for God again. If we do this too, we can feel near to God again. If we clear away some of our comforts for a time, there will be more room for God.
This year for Lent, I have felt convincted to give up three things. For two of the things, my motives are also health related.
First, I am giving up sodas. I have been drinking probably close to 60 ounces of Diet Coke a day for about the last year. I have given up sodas in the past and always feel so much better, but then I start drinking them again and get addicted. So, I am giving up sodas and hope to continue this on past the 40 days of Lent.
Second, I am giving up meat. I have been having some health problems over the last 9 months or so that I have been doing some research on. Some of the research I have found suggests that my health problems might be helped if I do not eat meat. So, I am giving up meat for the 40 days of Lent. After those 40 days, I will evaluate how I am feeling and decide then if I will continue on not eating meat.
Third, I am giving up grumbling and complaining. If you know me at all, you know I complain alot! I admit to it! It's something I do not like about myself. So, I am going to give up grumbling and complaining for the 40 days of Lent. When I first started thinking about this, the Scripture passage of Philippians 2:14-15 came to mind: "Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people." So my commitment is anytime I find myself wanting to grumble or complain, I will remind myself of this verse before I say anything. And I ask those of you who know me in real life, are my Facebook friends, follow me on Twitter, etc., help keep me accountable. If you hear me beginning to grumble and complain, please gently remind me of my commitment.
So, are you giving up anything for Lent? I'd love to hear how God is working in you.