The Lenten Season begins today and will go until Easter. Christians have been observing Lent for a long time– since about the mid to late 4th century. During this season, many Christians will give up something (or fast) as a means to draw closer to God and intensify their spiritual awareness. I’ve known people to give up chocolate, coffee, television, social media or any number of other things for these forty days. The idea is to temporarily give up something we like (i.e. candy or coffee) in order to draw near to Someone we eternally love (Jesus).
Deciding on what or if one should fast is a deeply personal choice, and I would never suggest what you should or should not fast. Keeping in mind that fasting should be something good that you miss temporarily as you abstain from it, the following items were NOT among my Lent fasting options (since I already don’t like them and am on a permanent “fast” from them):
Flint Coney Dogs (I’m a Detroit Coney guy…sorry)
Sweet pickles (barf)
Snow and cold (it’s above my pay grade to eliminate snow and cold for Lent, but if I could…)
The Bachelor (No TV program since The Jerry Springer Show has made me consider poking my eyes out on a more frequent basis).
Political posts on Facebook (Politics and Facebook are a deadly combo, I avoid it like some politicians avoid the truth…. Oops I just got political).
Moreover, speaking of permanent fasts, I wish that…
The Detroit Lions would stop their fast of Super Bowl Appearances
Church folks would permanently fast from the following phrases:
“That’s not the way we’ve always done it…”
“I just need to be fed….”
“It’s the youth pastor’s fault…”
“It’s not my spiritual gift…”
“I’d like to give but….”
“My kid’s soccer game is this Sunday morning….”
“I probably shouldn’t mention this to you, pastor, just before you preach but….”
If you haven’t decided to fast during Lent, consider doing so. Take time to think about what you would temporarily miss, as you draw your thoughts to Jesus during these next 40 days. Remember James 4:8 is true during the Lenten season and all year: Come near to God and he will come near to you.