I know what some of you are thinking.
“Dude! There are several… essential activities that place in the bathroom. How can you afford (why would your wife allow you) to give up bathroom time for Lent?”
Not to worry! Let me explain.
Up until a few years ago our family of 8 shared one bathroom! Whew! There was always a line to get in and a common phrase heard frequently was “No camping out in there!”
When our oldest was 17-years-old we were able to add a second bathroom and relieve some of the pressure (pun intended)!
Now that the two oldest have graduated High School and moved on to their next adventure there are only six of us sharing two bathrooms. A much better ratio!
I’ve always had a penchant for reading while on the throne. So when my wife got me a Kindle Fire last year I had multiple books at my fingertips while using the bathroom. (It’s the little things that make life so special!)
But over the last couple of months I’ve gravitated from reading to playing games on my Kindle while sitting on the toilet. With another bathroom available it proved possible for me to get lost back there for significant lengths of time. (According to Susan it can be hours!)
Digital games are not inherently bad or sinful, but my pattern was becoming unhealthy. So one of the things I’m giving up for Lent is playing games on my Kindle when using the bathroom.
I can hear your sigh of relief that I’ve not given up on the essential activities that take place in a bathroom! Glad to relieve your concerns.
And I’ll admit that I did have fun considering alternate titles for this blog such as: “Giving up time on my throne to seek His throne.”
But I’ve challenged my family and our church family to consider that Lent is more than merely giving up something for God. The real core issue is repentance for putting things ahead of God and a renewed pursuit of intimacy with Him.
In Matthew 6 where Jesus says, “…when you fast…” He also says, “…when you give…” and “…when you pray…”
Fasting serves to challenge our dependence on physical passions that can become more important to us than God.
Giving serves to challenge our longing for and pursuit of things we don’t yet have but think we need even more than we need God.
Praying serves to remind us that life is not our story but God’s and encourages us to depend on Him rather than ourselves.
So during this period leading up to Easter I’m continually asking God three questions:
- Lord, what would You have me give up?
- Lord, what would You have me to give away?
- Lord, what or who would You have me to pray for?
Perhaps most important in all of this is the motivation. I’m not doing any of this to secure God’s favor or love. Those have already been lavished on us through Christ Jesus. What God wants, what He created and redeemed us for, is greater intimacy with us.
I’m wrestling with all of this because I’m captivated by His love for me and I want to draw closer to Him.
Will you join me?
P.S. – I’d enjoy hearing about your plans for the season of Lent or any discoveries you make along the way.
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.