Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You deserve a break today


During my years in the AME church I practiced fasting during the Lenten season (forty days from Ash Wednesday through the Saturday before Easter).  It was usually a time of self-reflection, reestablishing a commitment to God, and gaining a deeper understanding of His resurrection power.  Since Ash Wednesday tomorrow I began thinking about the attributes of Lenten season and the significant biblical references of the number forty.  I am reminded of forty years that the Isrealites wandered in the wilderness, the forty days Jesus was tempted by the devil, and the forty days Moses was on the mount.  All of these occurrences were periods of trial and probation which resulted in renewed strength and divine guidance.   

The Lenten season is marked by fasting from certain foods or activities, spending that time in prayer, and allowing a transformation to take place where we exchange our shortcomings for God's grace.  I don't believe you have to practice Lent to experience the renewal that can come from taking a pause to examine your life to find areas that need to be "freed up."  Whether it is a negative people, an over-committed schedule, or unhealthy habits, this is a great time to take an inventory of the things that have you experiencing a wilderness situation.

Give yourself permission to "just say no" for the next forty days to determine what really matters, what activities are literally draining the life out of you, and what you just to let go of once and for all. Change, growth, and transformation are necessary to live the life that you were created to live, so take a break, recharge your batteries, and walk into your next season with clarity and focus.  Remember, time is one thing that we can't save, post-pone, or retrieve and there is no investment of your time more valuable than the investment in yourself.