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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent: A Time to Fast, Pray, Give and Reflect

Hey guys!

Howdy! Today is Ash Wednesday...the first day of the 40-day Christian Lenten period. This period is generally known as the most spiritual period in the Christian faith because it is the countdown to Good Friday and then to Easter, when Jesus Christ died and resurrected, the benchmark of the Christian faith. The lent period for Christians is similar to Ramadan for Muslims and Yom Kippur for Jews.

The next 40 days are supposed to be a period during which all christians examine the depth of their commitment to Christianity by testing their endurance. This is rooted in the Biblical fact that Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness/desert without food. During the time, Jesus faced and overcame three temptations from the devil.  He spent the time in prayer, preparing for His work.
Drawing inspiration from that, Christians observe lent by giving up something to commemorate the significance of Jesus' sacrifice for our sake. It can also serve as an attempt to overcome personal faults. It is a time to test self-discipline, prayer and reflection. This practice is supposed to make us more steadfast to our faith....sort of like a renewal of commitment to Christ and appreciation for what He went through for the sins of mankind.

I personally believe that dedicated participation in lent breeds blessings. When you take the time to show solidarity in your faith, God rewards you with your heart desires. Every lent, I give up a luxury I'm addicted to because even though it is impossible to feel what Jesus must've felt without food for 40 days (I would've died btw), in my own little way I can show my appreciation by depriving myself of something I really thought I couldn't do without.
I have two main addictions; (1) ice cream (2) shopping. Two years ago, I gave up icecream and it was tortuous but it was worth it because it reminded me that the only need I have in life is the need for God's continuous grace. This year, I have decided to give up shopping. Meaning, I cannot acquire anything new for the next 40 days, with the exception of basic essentials such as food and water. I'll update you on how it goes.

I encourage you to participate in this Lenten season...If you choose to, the four things you should aspire to do for the next forty days, are (1) Fast (give up a luxury you "think" you can't do without; chocolate, video games, alcohol, partying, cursing, etc ), (2) Pray (3) Give (help someone out, volunteer, give to a homeless man, etc) and (4) Reflect. Use this time to reflect on your life expectations and spend time asking God for the changes you'll like to see happen in your life. I assure you that God never disappoints. It will bring you closer to God and God's plan for your life because it will remind you that the only thing you NEED in life is God.
If you already are or decide to, my prayer for you is that God will give you the strength to remain steadfast to your fast during the next 40 days and that at the end, that not only will your heart desires come true, your commitment to God will be strengthened.
So...if you're reading this and have already decided, what are YOU giving up? Can't wait to read your comments. :-)

Stay Inspired.....

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