Little made daddy a deal. See he wanted to snuggle in our bed for a little while tonight and daddy agreed he could if he would do just one thing. Instead of daddy reading him the bible tonight, he was to read his bible to daddy.
As I lay beside them both, typing away on my computer about why I quit Lent his little voice beside me reads out the words in slightly staccato fashion.
“Now, see some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.”
I interject. Just like Lent, little bub. It’s not mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.
Looking over my reasons as to why I started Lent to begin with I’m sort of hesitant to write this. But – deep breath – here goes.
I’d never done Lent before but definitely admire some of the people in my life who do. Not that they have a greater holiness to them or have attained a state of perfection but they are good, God-honouring, God-fearing people so I knew there had to be a reason they did it.
I wanted to know more about it and I’m the type of person who learns by action. I read a lot of books for sure, but I also like to act on the research and knowledge and dive on in. And so I did with Lent.
I did learn a lot from my 20 days. A lot.
I learned about denying myself, I learned about taking all things to Christ and I learned that sometimes He’s not my plan A. I also learned that I’m a rule follower to the core and all too soon following the rules I had set for myself became all too easy. I even went on and on about how easily I had adapted to the change, to not drinking anything but water, because it became really easy. So easy that only drinking water wasn’t even bringing me to Christ anymore. I prided myself on being self controlled and on how easily I can change and didn’t ever once thank God for maybe, just maybe, being the one who took away my craving for coffee. Who allowed me to pass those first caffeine free days without a headache. Who gave me a sudden pallet for hot water to the point of loving it! I just thought I must be pretty awesome for all of these things.
But really Jesus is. I just didn’t realize that in the moment.
Pride is a tricky tempter. It comes in when we’re not even realizing it. It sneaks up on us even in the good. It grabs hold when we’re dedicated to what’s right. It holds no preference in terms of timing or season, it just comes.
Thankfully God was gracious enough to show me my pride in Lent. Thankfully He showed me my heart.
I didn’t quit because I was craving coffee. I didn’t quit because I needed a glass of wine. I didn’t quit because Booster Juice was enticing me. I quit because doing so was much more humbling than continuing.
I decided that twenty-some-odd days in I needed to get over myself. It may be hard to conceive in your mind but marching in to starbucks and ordering a quad grande americano with room was better for my heart and soul than continuing on. It was hard for me to walk in. I wondered if anyone would see me. I wondered if anyone who reads my blog was there and would know that I was a failure. I was sort of nervous and incredibly humbled to walk in there, admit defeat and walk out with the white cup with green logo in hand.
And then I breathed a sigh of relief.
It was over. Because it is over. I need not live under rules because he came not for rules but that we might be free. I need not feel like a failure because He knows I am. Constantly. It’s why I so desperately need a Saviour. I need not fight the battle because the battle has been won. Victory is His. And I am His.
He’s got this. Hallelujah.