I’ve been trying to figure out what to “give up” for Lent. Fat Tuesday is…well Tuesday. Valentine’s Day is also Ash Wednesday. The beginning of Lent is close and I had no idea where God was leading. Usually I pray for my focus for Lent after making my New Year’s resolutions. Well this year I couldn’t come up with resolutions.
I’ve been following Jesus around, day by day in the present lately. I don’t need to force my growth with resolutions. Following what I need for each day, I am growing faster than ever before. I can hardly keep up. I prayed a few times for guidance in finding my focus. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. The accident, new vehicle, and testing have consumed me. I had to take it one step at a time leaning heavily on my Lord. I didn’t worry about finding my focus for Lent. Once the biopsy was done, I thought about Lent again. It was only a week away. Nothing came to mind. Again I asked Jesus for guidance.
On Friday a friend in Christ came to me with a lot of love, concern, and a challenge. This friend is Catholic and understands my view on Lent. I don’t go for the choices like giving up chocolate, carbs, meat, or etc. I view Lent as a time to give up secular time for God time. I also like the idea of developing new a habit which, usually means to give up an old habit.
She asked me to consider giving up worry for Lent. She told me this would be hard but it would be good for me by bringing me closer to trusting God. She asked me to pray and think about stopping worry in my life. Not the worry that galvanizes us to handle an emergency situation (like the car accident or cancer scare). It’s the worry that literally makes a mountain out of a molehill. The worry expressed by that little nagging voice bringing unneeded pressure into life.
This morning I found a couple of nudges in this direction. First in Jesus Today by Sarah Young, I read about God as the Rock Eternal. I loved this phrase in the devotional: “When your walk through this world feels wobbly, remember that I am your Rock.”
I also came across a couple of verses in my usual Sunday habits:
“Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:4 NIV
“Worry weighs down the heart, but a kind word gives it joy.” Proverbs 12:25 NABRE
Today, I decided to listen to my Lord, my heart, and my friend. I will be working at eliminating worry in my daily life. I will keep you in the loop it should be a wild ride for a confirmed worrier warrior. It’s a big change sure to make Milly’s realm wobble. I see some days that will leave me feeling as if an earthquake has shaken my world.
I have this weird belief I developed when I was probably 8 to 10 years old. It’s ingrained. At some point I decided if I didn’t worry about something the worst could happen. In my little brain it seemed when I thought about the worst that could happen (I worried), it was never as bad as I thought. So the other side of that logic is, I think I must worry to ward off the worst. Right? Apparently no… I’m not sure how to change this. I have a feeling I’m gonna find out.
For me, Lent creates change that improves my walk with Christ and my quality of life beyond the Lenten season. Lent 2018 will require me to trust Christ each day. For the next 42 days I will be worry-free. Lord help me!
Make Lent your own. Let’s get our Lent on and make our Realms a better place for all! Enjoy!