If you died with Christ to the elemental powers of the world, why do you submit to regulations as if you were still living in the world? “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!" These are all things destined to perish with use; they accord with human precepts and teachings. While they have a semblance of wisdom in rigor of devotion and self-abasement (and) severity to the body, they are of no value against gratification of the flesh (Colossians 2:20-23).
It might surprise some people who know me, but I can be easily irritated by things that really shouldn’t make me irritable. It’s one of the many growing edges that Jesus and I have been working on for some time. And just when I think I’ve gotten ahead of my inclination for irritableness, something inane sets me off and reminds me I haven’t yet arrived at perfection.
And so, here we are at Lent, and I wondered what I will give up.
Chocolate was the first thing that popped into my mind, but then I remembered past Lents in which I gave it up, only to be made even more irritable than normal because I couldn’t have my daily fix of the sweet savor of Hershey’s kisses.
No, chocolate was not a good plan. In fact, the more I thought about what I could give up, the more I remembered other times in which I tried to devote myself to some self-denial that would reflect a “rigor of devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body,” yet didn't stem at all the ease with which I could fail to act Christ-like when things didn’t go my way.
St. Paul, knew what he was talking about: Such denials “are of no value against gratification of the flesh.”
Yet, it is Lent. And God asks us (at least, those who are Catholic) to give something up for the purpose of spiritual growth.
And then I realized what that would be for me.
I’ve been watching way too much television lately. And many times I have felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to turn off the tube and spend some time with Him.
And I too often (of late) found reason to delay doing so.
So, for the next forty days I will give up all television. Even Netflix videos. And I will spend the time instead reading the Scriptures or books of a spiritual nature. Instead of denying my flesh junk food and accomplishing nothing of spiritual value, I will indulge my spirit with spiritual food, and expect great nourishment of my relationship with Christ.
What a concept! Spend time with Jesus instead of the television.
Yes. I think this is going to be a valuable Lenten season.