Gorging myself through lent

I never do Lent. I often forget about it until halfway through, and I’ve never really been convinced that giving up chocolate for so long will do anything except make you crave it even more once the time is up. I understand that the denial of something good is a helpful reminder of… whatever it’s supposed to remind you of… but communion reminds me of the best news ever (Christ died! Now I live!) and what else is there after that?

But thinking of it from a different point of view, I decided to give it a try today. See, Lent can be either a temporary denial of something you like or – and this is how I’m going to view it – a good reason to replace bad habits with good ones.

So instead of a negative fast, I think I’ll go on a positive gorge – swapping all the things I’ve realised are plain rubbish, with the purpose of starting a journey into good, life-long habits.

Why? Because there are things that I want more than there are things I don’t want – I want to know God better, I want to pray more, I want to read my Bible more, I want to talk more to others about Jesus. Sure, giving up chocolate is great – but why not use Lent as a springboard into permanently taking up greater things, not just as a temporary denial of ‘bad’ things?

How easy is it for you to think up things to give up for Lent? For myself, the list was easily filled… there’s the Costa chai lattes, free newspapers (for me, the Metro is time-consuming rubbish), Snickers bars, biscuits and junk food snackage, constant facebook monitoring, lengthy Amazon browsing… These aren’t bad in themselves, but they’ve started to push out the good things: time well-spent, opportunities made and taken, a good stewardship of my health, a mind renewed and quickened with truth.

It’s with that in mind, that my Lent will look like this:

An Alternative Lent – the Good Gorge

Snickers/biscuits/snackage = fruit, veg and water and the occasional treat
Costa chai lattes = change to give away, homeless people to talk with
free newspapers = Bible/good books
lazy bus-catching = walking and praying or phoning friends
facebook/Amazon browsing = sermons to listen to, books to read, people to talk with

So as of tomorrow… that’s the plan. It’s gonna be hard, but when I mess up it’s another reminder that I serve a God of grace, not one of performance. Let me know if you want to join me!

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