Preparing for Lent by Giving Up

PrideIt’s almost Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season. Which means it’s time to think about fasting. I’ve been fasting from something during Lent for quite a few years now. Sometimes it’s food, sometimes it’s a habit. Two years ago, I focused on adding the fruit of the spirit. Last year I gave up fear.

The purpose, for me, is to do penance while drawing closer to God. So what will it be for 2015?

Pride.

You have no idea–probably I have no idea–how hard this is going to be. I plan to read the chapter on pride in Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis weekly if not daily. I will stop compulsively checking book review sites and Amazon’s author rank/sales pages in order to feel good about how my book is doing. I will aim to please God rather than myself or others. I will not put myself forward in an unseemly way.

Sigh. I SO enjoy being petted and praised. I will stop seeking that out.

The part of my brain that loves fairy tales thinks that if I stop trying to feed my pride, God will . . . be proud of me and I’ll get even more of what I crave rather than less. The part of my brain that remember the Books of Job and Jonah on the other hand, is nervous about this.

So here we go. Tomorrow I can wallow in self-aggrandizement all I want. But starting Wednesday, if you see me bragging, call me out. That’s not part of my diet any more.

James 4:7-10 – Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

6 thoughts on “Preparing for Lent by Giving Up

  1. mom

    Wow. That’s a hard one! Good luck… or rather, prayers and hugs. BTW: how has the fear thing been going since last Lent season? Love you always.

  2. tinaturpin

    Thanks for sharing this, Sarah. I have found it more challenging and rewarding to”do” something, rather than give something up. Still praying about my Lenten Fast.

  3. Aunt Pat

    Help somebody each day of Lent during the time you’d have spent doing something frivilous or meaningless…. just an idea. It’s one I’ve been thinking of giving up… That is MY time. I certainly waste too much of it.

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