We are now into the second week of Lent. Even before I understood what it meant to be a Christian, I understood (or I thought I did) what Lent was all about. It was about giving up something, usually food, which you would miss until Easter when you would be able to eat it again. So to me, and for a good part of my life, it was only about self sacrifice. Shows you what I know. Although we sacrifice as part of our preparation for Easter, I was missing the point. My mindset was all wrong. I felt a little annoyed. I mean no meat on Fridays, no ice-cream (I love ice cream) for 40-something days – how is that suppose to make me a better Christian? Me, me, me….
But thanks to God and His infinite patience, I may just be getting it. It is amazing how the minute that you take the focus off of yourself your vision becomes so much clearer. So who else then might possibly benefit from me not eating my favorite food, or me not having a cocktail for 6 weeks? Well, how about God? What about my Creator, my source of strength? What does He get out of it? Well, with the right mindset, one of love, me lovingly imitating His son, it shows Him my intention to please Him. And, that I love Him, and that I want to please Him even if it means me sacrificing for a time. Sort of reminds me of what we talked about last week around Valentine’s Day, about true love, about willingly sacrificing one’s own wants and desires to those of your lover – learning to find joy and fulfillment in someone else’s happiness. So, when you skip that piece of steak, that cigarette, or cup of coffee, or double martini, think of it as your little Valentine’s Day card to God. I’m just guessing He likes getting those as much as we do.