Thursday, February 26, 2009

Keeping Back Nothing

I suppose it is no coincidence that God asked me to give up reading for Lent in 2009. It is, after all, my "Year of Patience." Books are often what I use when I have to wait. Doctor's office, carpool line, water to boil... Now, I can fiddle with my iTouch while I wait, but that does not occupy me nearly so well and not for nearly as long. I will be replacing this waiting-reading with a few things, other than the iTouch...

  • my Bible (this is the DUH option)
  • Prayer
  • Talking to my children

Other times that I read would include... well... all day. I tend to break up all activities with time spent on the couch with a book. Now I will need to learn how to move from one activity to the next without a novel. Perhaps I can stop to pray or meditate between chores. Or I can use that time to work on one of my many craft projects, write in my journal or work on one of the studies I am participating in.

The HARDEST part of this, for me, will be meals. I always eat with a book. I sit down to breakfast, lunch and dinner with a novel as my companion. The only time I eat without a book is when I am eating with another person. But, I take most of my meals alone. I am hoping, as scary as this is, it will make me more conscious of what I am eating and why I am eating.

My church is sending out daily devotions for the season of Lent. Today's was so perfect for me, having just given up something I love so much... maybe too much.

THE PRINCIPLE RUNS through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself,
and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save
it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day
and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being,
and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you
have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not
died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will
find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and
decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything
else thrown in.

And the prayer, which I may need repeated back to me over the next 40 days...

Lord Jesus, help me to remember that I will lose nothing of value by putting you
first and foremost in my life.

Welcome to Day 1.


  1. Brave, brave I say. But I crave my Coca-Cola a lot today too...

  2. Ahh, someone who feels my pain!

    I've given up reading except for our local newspaper (small town, not much to read!), crochet pattern books, GRE study material, and the bible.

    Two weeks ago I taught myself to crochet so that's why I included the crochet books. Although I'll have to watch myself to make sure crochet doesn't end up as a substitute for my missing books!


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