The Pits

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One final thought on observing Lent…yesterday morning, I woke up so excited to embark on this 40-day journey!  I was pumped!

 Fast forward to 6:00 pm and I was a cranky, snippy mess wallowing in the commitments I had made.  “It’s only day 1,” I thought, “there’s no way I can pull this off!”

Impeccably timed, as always, was my Jesus Calling reading today that talked about guarding against self-pity.  One way to distance ourselves from “the pit” is to stay as close as possible to God and completely fix our eyes on Him.

As an extremely competitive person in ALL aspects of life, sometimes I turn Lent into a competition where I have to beat my personal best.  Yet, again and again, I must remind myself that Lent isn’t about competing with myself, or anyone else; it’s about cultivatingstrengthening, deepening, and stretching my faith so that at the end of these 40 days, I’m that much closer to my God who literally gave everything for me.

So, if you, like me, consider day 1 to be a big, fat FAIL, take heart!  We have 39 more days to go!  If we’re just doing this for ourselves, we’re not going to make it, but when we fix our eyes on Jesus, even our failure is an opportunity to grow and watch as God picks up our pieces and gives us a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th chance.  He’s pretty graceful like that!

Today, I was so encouraged by the words of Hebrews 12:1-2 and I hope they’ll encourage you as well:

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.