So I got a cool email from my cousin in England last week. One of those: “I’ll get to it later” type of deals. I was away from home and I didn’t feel like scrolling and . . . okay, no excuses – I definitely should have read it right when I got it!
Here’s some snippets of his challenge to make Lent something more meaningful than just “giving something up.”:So I invite you to join me to do 40 days of Mind , Body, and Spirit Transformation. (yes, that sounds New age religion.. but I just could find a cool acronym) . What this means in practical terms is keeping a journal and recording how you are doing and your reaction with a Mind, Body, Spirit transformation. I defined these as:
Mind: Spend time every day learning something about my faith. For me that is a technical book on How the Bible was formed “Case for Christ”, or Bible fact basics, or other faith based book that isn’t heavy of scripture (but NOT a devotional – as in focused primarily on bible verses and meanings). This could be a cool website or DVD series even.
Body: Our bodies are temples.. every day doing some fitness. This could be a basic 50-50-10 (50 push ups, 50 sit ups, 10 min walking) easy to get to 50 if you do a little bit morning/afternoon and evening . This is something you have to set for yourself. The key is 40 days straight and recording progress & setbacks and how it effects your relationship to God.
Spirit: Spend time everyday doing a devotional or reading the bible and REFLECTING about it.. that is where the journal comes in.
I believe that even just a few small CONSISTENT steps for 40 days with REFLECTION (journal) will transform how I look at Easter. It isn’t about huge goals (Like whole bible books, or 2hrs of daily fitness, or writing a doctoral thesis. It could simply be a few verses each day, a 10 minute walk, and reading an interesting book about Biblical times and lifestyle. And for each of [us that] may already be strong in one of those areas, it is just a matter of keep doing what we have already started… and recording it.
So maybe I didn’t get a chance to do the forty days before Easter, but it won’t stop me from doing the 33! Forty might represent the days Jesus fasted prior to the resurrection, hence why folks “give up” something during this season. But 33 represents the life Jesus LIVED on earth and encourages us to LIVE wholeheartedly in all capacities. I like that this discipline is about the LIFE, not just the death. It may be GOOD Friday the day we remember Jesus died, but it’s only good because of the LIFE of Easter Sunday. So here we go . . .