The Lenten season is here once again. Why is it that people give things up for lent, a fasting of sorts? To be completely honest I’m not sure I fully understand it in the traditional sense. I come from a tradition that, well at least as I was growing up, never really had an emphasis that I can remember on these traditions of the church.
As I first discovered the practice of Lent, I used it as a personal challenge to see if I could give something up for the period of 40 days. It was usually something to do with food and the goal was not to draw me deeper into my faith, but to work toward a weight loss goal or something like that.
Over the last few years I have either chosen a fast only to give into my craving a day or two into the Lenten journey, or not fasted at all because I have not been disciplined enough in the past.
This year is different for me, I will be fasting from electronics during the Lenten season not because I want to challenge myself and see how well my will power will perform this year, but because since Christmas time I have been feeling the nudging of the Spirit toward the wilderness. There are of course a couple of exceptions that will need to be made for work purposes, but for the most part I will enter the wilderness during this time.
I will feel disconnected I am sure, I might even feel lost at times without my cell phone as an extension of my arm, or my games on iPad, or the TV to pass time. I will not be lost however, because Jesus has already gone before on this journey and will be present as I do as well.
Mark’s gospel doesn’t give much detail into Jesus wilderness experience, but it comes before he steps out into public ministry. Every Christian is in some way a “minister”, and perhaps we just need this time in the wilderness to prepare us once again for work in the Kingdom of God.
I don’t know if I have it right, but I know that God will meet me there!
(note: this blog will be published automatically over the next weeks during the Lenten season).