|A photo I took on a walking trail at work last year.|
First of all, I hope you all had a very blessed and peaceful Easter.
Until this year, I have never actually given something up for Lent. For the uninformed (which was myself until this year), Lent is the period of time that lasts 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. My family, while people of strong faith, never really went into all of that traditional, liturgical type of stuff in our worship. But since I've been working at a faith-based non-profit, a lot of my coworkers participate in these types of expressions of faith. I now know a couple of people who participate in Lent and their decision gave me pause. I prayed for a couple of days, asking the Lord if my instinctual desire to give up this one thing was from Him. It turns out that it was, and so I did, although I did start a few days late. I didn't want to share about it until the period of Lent was actually finished since it's supposed to be something between me and the Lord, but now that Lent is over (starting tomorrow), I think it is time to share. So here are my musings on whether my giving up this one thing had a positive impact on my relationship with Christ or not and on myself or not. You can be the judge. 😊
The first question you're probably asking is what did I give up? I'm not one to give up food because if I do that my blood sugar gets so low that my moods are in constant, nasty flux. I wasn't going to subject my poor family to more mood swings than they already tolerate. Plus, I didn't feel God leading in that direction.
So instead I gave up something that I've been contemplating for some time . . . secular music.
Not that I really listen to a lot of secular music, but I do love classic pop and classic rock from the 50s and 60s. And I love musicals, which also fall into the secular music category. So I was giving up something that I do love and listen to regularly. Although I did excuse music in movies and television. I wasn't seeking it out on purpose, but I wasn't being called to give up movies and tv so if a secular song was in there, oh well. Anyway, I noticed a couple of things happening during this period of Lent.
I went through phases.
Like, the beginning of Lent it was exciting to listen to just praise and worship. Sure, I also listened to some pretty awesome 80s Christian music as well, but it was all Christian. And it moved me in a very genuine way and I experienced a couple of encounters with Jesus while listening to certain songs. They moved me in a very real way.
Then, about halfway through Lent, I started getting bored. No Josh Groban. No Bobby Darin. No Michael Buble. No Phantom of the Opera. The best I could so as an alternative was a bit of classical music. So, the worship and praise that I had adored only a few days before now felt a little stale. I experienced an entire day where none of the songs felt genuine. All of them felt utterly and completely fake, and that wasn't something I was expecting. That, my friends, was an interesting little gift from the Evil one to mess with my mind that day.