Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why I Am Observing Lent This Year

Last year was my first venture into observing Lent. As a good “evangelical/charismatic” Christian I had mostly been taught to disdain or at least ignore most practices associated with the Liturgical Calendar. In my mind it was just religious nonsense…it was legalistic…and it must surely be empty…not really connecting people in relationship with God. So, you must imagine my surprise last year after graduating seminary and feeling that I had a good handle on this thing called the Christian faith when God whispered in my heart one morning to look into Lent.


Seriously, it made no sense to me…but I was at a dry place in my relationship with the Lord and was looking for a new way to connect with Him. I decided to study on the origins of Lent, and after some time of study and reflection I decided – “Why not?” I’ll give it a try!

All I can say is that those 40 days were perhaps the richest 40 days of my walk with the Lord last year. I’m not sure if it was because of the newness…because I was willing to simply obey…or because I had in fact made room for God in my heart – a heart that had become a Christian know it all…but for whatever reason – it was amazing. I entered into a time of fasting…I went and got my ashes from a Presbyterian Church…the whole nine yards & it was a refreshing experience in my relationship with the Lord. (You can read my blogs last year about Lent by clicking here: http://joshandpaigeallen.blogspot.com/search/label/Lent ).

I saw Him in a new light & I saw the Church in a new light…I realized that regardless of the method – when you make room for God – INTENTIONALLY – He will come…so often He is just waiting for the invitation…and I want to reinvite Him…I want to remember that I desperately need Him…that I am but ashes without Him…

I’m not expecting the same experience this year, but I am making a concerted effort before Easter to once again make room for the Lord. Since I’m pregnant and will be nursing I’ve decided that I don’t need to fast food…and really, food isn’t something that takes my focus from Him. I’ve been asking God what takes too much of my time from Him – that is what I want to give up. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that He made it clear that I need to give up facebook & twitter – I’ve gotten sucked into that universe & it’s time to say bye for an extended period of time.

I’ll still be around blogging – mostly because this is a place where I connect & discover as I share words with you about my relationship with Him. If you want more thoughts on Lent I would recommend a blog that a friend from college wrote – you can read Glen Packiam’s thoughts here:
http://glennpackiam.typepad.com/my_weblog/

I’m excited about this journey! I’ll share a few thoughts along the way!

4 comments:

Karl and Liz said...

coming from a methodist background I observed lent most years. Almost always it was a wonderful time of connection and dependancy on the Lord "to get you thru". I haven't done in several years, I thought about it last year when you did but didn't commit. After reading (your facebook post!) irony
I was inspired to ask the Lord what I should give up this season to draw me to him. The answer was frightning.......haha
So, thanks for the inspiration! You are a blessing!

Sarah said...

Paige,

I am loving your blogs! Keep em' coming. I tried to comment on the one before but it wasn't working. I am so glad God didnt let you and Josh quit. You will never know the impact you have had. My sister and I talk about how we admire you guys in so many ways! Thank you for being so faithful even when its hard. We love you guys and can't wait to meet the little miss! :)

Lisa said...

So, when does Lent start? We are doing the Breaking Free Bible Study with Beth Moore and I think it would be a great idea for us to think about fasting something for Lent to go along with Breaking Free. Thanks for the insight. Really, I thought only Catholics did Lent. You learn something new every day. Blessings.

Paige Allen said...

Lisa, today is Ash Wednesday & Lent starts today! It goes until Easter (40 days + Sundays)...I definitely think fasting has power when we are walking through steps to freedom. Feel free to call me if you want more info!

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