As you'll soon see, we love this time of year. Longer days, better weather, and of course, baseball, all help put a spring in my step. Maybe you're the same? It's just a good time of the year for fresh starts and new beginnings. Which always reminds me of what Louie Giglio once said, "For Lent, I'm giving up."
Naturally, we think there's something missing from his sentence. Um, Louie? You forgot something buddy. When in truth, "period" is exactly what should come next. As we begin the Lenten season, let's remember that it's all about Jesus and what He did for us; not about what we can do, give up, commit to, or accomplish. (Or about our failure to succeed at any of that.) Nothing to prove, nothing to lose, nothing to hide.
I just finished ready the book, "The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness" by Tim Keller. What an incredible, powerful read. The message of the book has been playing a big part in my life lately in that - like Paul - we can have a low opinion of the opinion of others about us, but we can also have a low opinion of our opinion of us. I'll distill the book down to this: Paul didn't let other people judge him and he didn't even judge himself. He didn't connect his sins to himself, but he didn't connect his accomplishments to himself either. He was free. I want that kind of self-forgetfulness. That's what I want for Lent.
- Jimmy Peña
Discussion: The pressure isn't just off - it's non-existent. How does that help you prepare your heart for the Easter season? If part of your heart's preparation is indeed physical, as part of obedience and humble stewardship, will your commitments to healthier choices take on new meaning? Will it help shape not only the goals you set, but how you prepare and execute them? Or forgetting the physical changes, maybe you're just ready to give up trying to always be seen or applauded? Maybe you're ready to give up striving, competing, comparing, being noticed? If so, there's freedom when you do. Just remember. Lent is a heart issue, because when Jesus said, "It is finished," it was and still is. Aren't we glad we don't have to measure up? (And that actually makes me want to work harder in all areas of life. Isn't that incredible?)