One way to pause to make space for God is observing Lent.
Wednesday of this week is Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent. Lent is a pause.
Lent is a period of time of spiritual preparation for Easter — Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Many people give up something for Lent — they fast from something. Sometimes they give up a particular food or something they enjoy like coffee, chocolate, social media, or something else.
You might come from a church tradition that does Lent or you may not. Some traditions give up particular foods on particular days. I have found it can be a good time to fast something and then in its place to pause and focus on Jesus prior to Easter. A time to pray or meditate on His life and His sacrifice for us. A time of preparing to remember Jesus’ death on the cross and the triumph of His resurrection.
Lent runs over 6 Sundays, 40 days of the week or about 46 days from Ash Wednesday until Good Friday. Some traditions set the days differently and that’s all good too. Your tradition may tell you when or how to do Lent. For me, I think you can observe it over whichever days you prefer and in fasting something or not. That’s between you and God.
I’m giving up a couple of things this Lent. Honestly, I’ve done it before and each time it’s been difficult but worthwhile as I redirect my energy and appetite to Christ.
This year I asked God what I should give up for Lent and immediately two things popped into my mind — chocolate and cola soft drinks. I must admit that my response was to say (in a slightly whiny voice),
“Is one of those enough God or does it have to be both?”
I left it with Him (hoping He’d be okay with one of hate two). But each time I came back to it in m prayer times it was apparent that I needed to give up both. (sigh) Soooo, I am giving up both chocolate and cola soft drinks at home. I can only have them on occasion if I’m out during Lent. (No, I will not be going out extra times during Lent!)
If the idea of pausing or fasting something for Lent sounds like something for you to do to spend more time and focus on God then go for it! Hey, let me know what you’re fasting will you? I’d love to pray for you as you do it.
The cool thing about traditions like Lent is that when you take part in them you are joining with thousands, maybe millions of believers in an activity of devotion, trust and faith. That’s kind of amazing to think of.
So, consider for Lent or part of Lent will you pause or fast from something to focus on Jesus?