If you know me, then you know I like Lent, Advent, a New Year, and any opportunity that has the potential to bring growth. Although Lent is now over for this year, I wanted to share a bit of what my Lent looked like.
Many people fast from something during Lent. The intent is to sacrifice something that you love in order to honor God. It is a way of saying that God is more important than anything else in your life. And it is also a way to lay aside things that pull your heart away from Him. Many people fast a specific food or beverage, such as sugar or coffee. Others might fast from things like radio or television, if they know they spend too much time on something like this.
These days are worse than ever when it comes to distractions. We have so many things at our fingertips to pull our eyes, our ears, and our heart away from the Lord. With our smartphones glued to our hands, it can be all too easy to get sucked into social media, games, streaming, Amazon, and so much more.
Personally for Lent, I did not get on social media. Also, I did not purchase anything online for myself, unless it was a necessity. And I was deliberate with what books I read during this time.
Ironically, my smartphone died during Lent, so I was forced to spend two days without one. It was a bit strange, to tell you the truth. I felt like I had lost a layer or protection, yet I also felt liberated. I appreciate the technology and having access to everything so easily. But I also know that I don’t want to feel tied to my phone.
Mainly I just tried to slow down and not do so much. I know you have heard me say this before. But I am bringing it up again, because it can be so easy to fall back into the busy trap. We don’t always realize how many distractions are taking our focus. The things that crowd our lives aren’t necessarily “wrong.” However, if they keep our eyes from the right things, then it might mean we need to reevaluate certain areas of our lives.
During Lent, or a time of fasting, we can also add things into our daily lives. Examples would be adding prayer time, adding in more Bible reading time, or adding in a devotional. During these weeks, I added in several things to my routine, which helped me to keep my mind in the right direction, and to focus on God.
During Lent I read a devotional called The 40-Day Social Media Fast by Wendy Speake. This book touches on so much more than social media. It touches on anything that might pull our hearts and attention away from God. I highly recommend it if you are planning any kind of fast. (This author also has a book called The 40-Day Sugar Fast, which I have not read. But I thought I would mention it, in case you are interested.)
I also worked through a Write the Word journal by Cultivate What Matters. These journals each have a specific theme. For each day that you work through the journal, there are pre-selected Bible verses. You look up the verse(s) and write them out by hand in the journal. There is also room to journal about what is on your heart and mind that day. In this space I usually wrote out a prayer pertaining to the Bible verse for that day. This journal helped me to spend time with God, in the Bible, and in prayer, in a fresh way. If you feel your time with God could use a boost, I highly recommend these journals.
During this time:
If you feel the lure of all the world has to offer these days, if you feel that some things could be taking your focus off of God, or if you feel that you want to draw closer to God, then I encourage you to prayerfully seek fasting or cutting back from anything that is keeping you from a wholehearted relationship with Him.
I love how 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says to “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.” That is my goal. I want to lead a quiet life. This allows room for the important things. There are things that leave our souls feeling parched and there are things that replenish our souls. I want to focus on the latter. I want to spend my days walking with God by my side. I want to grow closer to Him and become more like Jesus each day. I want to make God my default, not my last resort. How about you?
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas