Friday, February 22, 2013

How to Do it All

It is Lent again. Lent is a time that challenges me to listen to God more closely and be more intentional on focusing on what He wants me to do rather than what I want to do. My first Lent started many years ago with the question “what should I give up.” In college, I did Lent because my friends did it and so one year I gave up chocolate and the next it was soda. By my senior year, it had become a conversation and a time of not only giving up but of putting on. I realized that God calls us to not only let go of things that hold us back and keep us from living eternal life- here and now- but He also calls us to hold more tightly and more intently focus on the things that draw us closer to Him.

 This year is a different one because when I asked God what I should do for Lent- I felt like He said “Do it all.” “Do it all” to me meant do everything that I was thinking/ praying about doing for Lent. Exercise More – Check, Journal More- Check, Read the Bible More- Check, Create More Bible Studies- Check, Blog More- Check, Pray More- Check.

 “But I can’t do it all” was my first thought. “How will I have time? “How is this even possible to do?” In response to my questions and my certainty that I can’t do it all, God brought to mind Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

 This has been a weird situation and very different from the years when I have felt God call me to fast one day a week or to stop reading fiction, to limit watching television, to cut back on eating sugar and to not make any new commitments. Those seem easy in comparison. One thing or two seemed manageable on my own with a little help from God.

 But this, to do it all- seems impossible in an already busy life. I’m a little in shock- though I am not at the place like so many of my friends who already feel as if they are doing it all and doing even one thing for Lent would send them over the edge they teeter along every day into a ravine of chaos and guilt- I feel as if I already have a full plate. Yet, I know that voice after all these years of conversation about giving up and letting go, is a voice that calls me to live the best life, an eternal life without regret and I trust it even if following it seems impossible.

This year Lent isn’t about what I can do on my own- by giving up soda or exercising more, instead Lent is about finding strength in Christ to do what He has already called me to do - not just for these forty days – gently whispering to me all year- write more, exercise more, create more, pray more, depend on Me more, trust Me more, love Me more because I love you and want the best life for you.