In my message last month, I mentioned, "I am never going to lose these 20 pounds!" I was accepting the fact that I couldn't change - and deep down maybe I didn't want to change - because it would take work. So, I openly declared in my message this past Sunday that I have joined a gym - a health club/fitness center. I have never done this before!
Oh, I know - I heard it from Gwyn already. I could've saved our money and walked up and down the hills by our house or use the various workout DVDs in our library, but I suppose I just wanted something new and different to do. A new setting. A new outlook. A newly charged challenge. So, I started my Zumba classes and will soon add Yoga to the mix, as well as frequent the many different machines and equipment in the gym. But this is just a start. The motivating factor is my nephew's wedding at the end of the summer! We will see how this goes toward a physical transformation.
I read this devotional recently and it speaks to a spiritual transformation:
Lent is one of the oldest seasons of observation on the Christian calendar. Like most religious holidays and seasons, there have been changes over the centuries on how Lent is observed. Yet, its purpose has always stayed essentially the same: it is a season of self-examination and penitence, demonstrated by self-denial, in preparation for Easter. Lent has been observed by believers throughout the centuries as a time dedicated to self-denial, sacrifice, spiritual formation, spiritual discipline, and prayer.
In many traditions, fasting plays a huge role. In history, people were regularly encouraged to fast daily (eating only one meal a day). In other traditions, prayer and confession were the primary focus on the 40-day Lenten journey.
Though Lent is still devoutly observed in some Christian denominations, others hardly mention it at all. However, in our time there is an increased interest in the significance of Lent. Frankly, there cannot be a better emphasis than for all of us to focus on our relationship with Jesus. Lent is a time to get in touch with that part of us that is broken and needs healing. It is a season to be able to openly acknowledge our deep desire for transformation and Christ-likeness.
As you read the following Lenten prayer, make it a part of your inner desire to be more like Jesus.
Lighter of lights — illumine us Fire of fires — thaw us Power of powers — strengthen us Lover of lovers — warm us Teller of tales — encourage us Destroyer of darkness — save us Touchstone of truth — examine us Summoner of stars — amaze us Wellspring of wisdom — weather us Water of life — refresh us Dancer of days — delight in us Breath of the universe — bless us — Ruth Burgess
During this season of Lent, focus on the knowledge of your own brokenness, yearning for healing, desire for transformation, and dependence upon Jesus. Reflect on the areas of your life that need transformation.
What are those areas in your life that get in the way of you being who Jesus wants you to be?
FURTHER READING: John 13:1-15; Mark 12:28-34
Then he said to them all, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24