08 April 2012

lent & easter

46 days ago, I gave up dessert for Lent. After tossing around several ideas, this pulled ahead as the winner. Now, this wasn't the first time I'd given up dessert. In a semi-regular rotation, I sacrifice dessert, caffeine and Diet Coke, with the occasional Mexican food and Facebook thrown in. Because what says sacrifice like 46 days without chips and hot sauce?

All in all, I did well. Except when I went on a work related trip to Jackson, Mississippi. The college that hosted a group of counselors wined and dined us. Literally. On the night of a progressive dinner, I just knew the dessert house would kill me. My only hope was that they would serve coffee. And they did. But I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to try a mini pecan fried pie. I'm not sure why I was bent on tasting it since I DON'T EVEN LIKE PECAN PIE. But I did. Probably because I want to love all things in mini form. And if all pecan pie were that delightful, I'd quickly forget the time I suffered illness after eating pecan pie at my great-grandmother's house when I was four.

This resolution was easy. Not that sacrificing chocolate is easy, but it didn't need a lot of thought. It was more self-serving. Husby and I have a goal of cutting out sugar as much as possible, so why not do it at Lent? That's easy. Do it for Jesus. I might not stick to a New Years resolution, but I can stick to a Lenten resolution. Except in Jackson, Mississippi where fried pies are concerned.

Because it was easy and self-serving, my heart wasn't changed. And that's the ultimate goal during Lent: to wake up differently on Resurrection Sunday. At about Day 30, I knew that this was the wrong thing to sacrifice. I even told Husby. What's even worse? I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to change my resolution, but we decided we would stick by our original sacrifice. I ignored the Holy Spirit's call to spend time with Jesus. To know Him better. Mind you, I could have added this in addition to sacrificing sugary treats.

Today at church, we continued our study in Acts. I love a verse by verse study of the Bible, so I was ready to continue. There were verses to be underlined and notes to be written in the margins of my Bible. Acts 7: bring it.

And, oh, it was brought. I underlined one verse: You always resist the Holy Spirit. I wrote one word: Yikes. Seriously?! I've read Acts before, and I do not remember that verse being there! I don't know if I've ever been so convicted. I was disobedient. I resisted the urging of the Holy Spirit. Multiple times. Dang it. The wonderful part of this story is that even in blatant disobedience, I'm forgiven. He became the sacrifice for my sin, for my disobedience, when he was nailed to a cross and rose three days later. Oh, praise Him!

Over the next few weeks, day by day, I want to be obedient in his calling for me to spend time in the Word. I want to know Jesus better. I want to learn how he loved people so that I can love people better. I want to know how to love people like me who ignore him. I want my heart to be like his.

No comments :