Today is the start of Lent, the 40 day preparation for Easter. Many people use the Lenten season to give up something for 40 days or just as a way to challenge themselves. It was intended to serve as a time to prepare our hearts for celebrating the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for us.
Growing up, I hated this time of the year…it meant I had to eat fish every Friday and I hated fish, especially those wonderful tuna casseroles. YUCK!! Long gone are the days my family eats fish on Fridays during Lent, and sadly I rarely give much thought to the Lenten Season, because it held little meaning to me.
I never chose to be intentional about using something I eliminated to devote that focus on God and His sacrifice for me. Today, while reading one of the many inspirational blogs I subscribe to, I was reminded of Lent and inspired to be intentional with these next 40 days.
Karen Ehman, a contributor to Proverbs 31, strives to inspire people in their faith, family and friends on her website. Today she shared her Reverse Lent Challenge and I was inspired.
Karen challenged those reading to take something on instead of giving something up for Lent. She gives some examples including calling one person a day just to tell them they are special or to strive each day to help or inspire a stranger. They are fabulous ideas and any one of her ideas would be wonderful and has the potential to change and bless so many people.
However, as I prayed about what I should add into my day, the image of my bible kept creeping into my head. Every morning I start my day reading several devotionals that are emailed to me (this is my form of accountability!!) And usually I am very inspired and they have lead to some powerful changes in my life. However, I am rarely immersing myself in my actual Bible. So that is when I knew what I had to do.
It was time for me to be more intentional about time on just reading God’s word. I found this 40 day reading plan from the Salvation Army on specific scriptures that highlight key stories from the Bible. So I am in.
Today, I started my morning with a warm cup of coffee and my bible, not my computer, open first. (Even though I made the excuse I was reading my devotions on my email first so that justified me opening up the computer first thing in the morning). What a wonderful way to start this Lenten Season.
I hope this inspires you to personally think about adding something in your life that will allow you to reflect on the love of Christ–what we truly need to celebrate this Easter.