40 Days + 40 Nights: 5 Thoughts on Lent

tempting dessert
Sweet Temptation! | Photo by Gale E

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

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I’m a Daughter of a most amazing King, so it starts today. But let’s take a moment to go back before going forward. Last year I offered a few thoughts on Ash Wednesday and the pending Lenten season. I meant well but admit here that I wasn’t able to accomplish half of the things on my list. As I started the post then, I still maintain that:

“For 40 days many Christians will more than likely pray, fast and/or give up something they think they can’t live without.  Things like chocolate, alcohol, potato chips, sex, TV or Coca Cola top some lists, but I feel if you only have a coke (or sex) three times a month it doesn’t really make sense fasting … just saying.”

I also maintain that temptations seem to be more intense during Lent than at any other time during the year. Seriously. All of a sudden there are many more things to distract and steer you off course. Your friends keep eating sweets or chocolates in your presence, at parties there are free exotic drinks filled with alcohol, there are extra projects with tight deadlines at work which cause you to work late and miss your weekly Bible Study/Mission Services, your children seem to go out of their way to stress or frustrate you, Facebook and Twitter keep calling your name to check out the latest exciting posts and tweets – can you relate? One year I decided to fast from desserts … all I can say is that it ended up being an exercise in futility.

So what’s it going to be for me this year? What am I going to do differently in the midst of spiky hot flashes, aching bones, graying hair and fading eyesight? For starters, I am going to:

  • pray more meaningful prayers – no more wishy-washy “you already know what I need God so please make it happen” type of words
  • try fasting from solid foods every Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. – which I have never been brave enough to try because I suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) but we’ll see
  • give of myself more – someone needs a call, an e-card or a kind word/written prayer; an elderly person or a child needs a hug; a church (well, my church for sure) needs volunteers to help out
  • keep a Lenten devotional – my book for this year (I usually read The Shack by William P. Young) is Secrets of the Vine for Women, Breaking Through to Abundance by Darlene Marie Wilkinson; every week for the next six weeks starting on Ash Wednesday I will read/study a chapter (there are six) and record my reflections
  • sign up at www.lentreflections.com – to receive daily reflections in my inbox

Seems doable right? Right …  until I am attacked by procrastination, laziness, fatigue and life overwhelm! BUT that’s when I’m going to post a note here asking for some help because we may pretend otherwise yet we will always be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.  I’m looking forward to coming out on the other side of the valley – stay tuned 😀

PS: I felt the need to add a brief disclaimer in that religion/spirituality/believing in something bigger than yourself is personal. My thoughts on Lent and deepening my walk with God are just that: my own … but I would love to hear your views not only on this important observance on the Christian calendar of events but on spirituality as a whole. Please leave me a comment.

Simply sinful | Photo by Gale E
Simply sinful | Photo by Gale E

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Barbadian mother and lover of laughter; story teller and best-selling author; happy to follow God's lead and to live my mantra: "you've gotta be a rainbow in the lives of others when it rains."

6 thoughts on “40 Days + 40 Nights: 5 Thoughts on Lent”

  1. IBS certainly would be a challenge, I quite agree Gale, but as much as serious devotees have my utmost respect, I do find it quite strange when I hear folk saying they are gonna give up a daily chocolate bar, and call that fasting for Lent! The whole point must be, I guess, similar to our Ramadan observations, whereby to go without, to pay penance and to endure an elongated task that makes one consider the suffering of others in this world, is the premise of the act. Chocolate withdrawal seems a tad undemanding to say the least. To those who take it seriously, well done, but it kinda grinds with me when some shove it your face how observantly Christian they are when they fast from a daily chocolate bar… I do sometimes wonder how they’d get on with no food or liquid for 16 hours every day, for 30 consecutive days when it’s 45 degrees (113F)? 


    1. Dear Uncle Spike, I do believe you have hit the proverbial nail on the head with your thoughts. It’s like when I go to church later today, I am going to see people that I will never see again until Easter and then Christmas. I will be hearing a lot about all of the things that are going to be given up but after that? Not a peep. Yet, our religious beliefs are very personal and only you can know for you. Hopefully somewhere along the line whatever actions taken in the short-term will evolve into a long-term life changing decision. Only time will tell. Thanks for sharing; it’s great as usual to hear from you so keep the comments coming 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No different to our culture here – many of the villagers can quote Koranic verses to the end of times, but 97/100 find some reason / excuse to not fast etc etc. No different, eh? 🙂


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