Every Lent, it seems that pastors everywhere try to come up with a new twist on the season, or a new approach to their sermons. And every year, it’s generally the same: focusing on Jesus’ sacrifice and therefore we make a piddly sacrifice to symbolize The Big Sacrifice. But last Sunday’s sermon made a point that stuck with me:
If we try to give up something we are a slave to, we are no longer slaves. We may fail and get back up over and over again, yet it is a valiant effort to unbind our wrists.
He gave the example of a friend of his who gave up “lust” for Lent. “How, may I ask, do you plan to do that?” he asked his friend. And then the friend went on to list all the ways that lust manifests itself in his life–all the small, daily things that set him back.
So, I know that almost every year I give up sweets, and yeah it’s tough, and sometimes I fail, but does it really make a REAL difference in my life? Do I feel like I am breaking free from something that has enslaved me? No. Absolutely not.
I’ve been spending time thinking about what really does rule my life sometimes, especially when I’m not paying attention to God. The big rulers of my life?
Impatience and Worry.
They often come hand in hand. I am impatient to know what’s happening next or when something will be completed, and so I begin to worry about the outcome. Or I’m worried about something, and so I snap with impatience at the people I care about the most. This deceiving duo rules my life more than I care to admit.
It will take some time–maybe most of my life–to sort out the many ways these forces manifest themselves in my daily life. But becoming aware of it, and asking any of you to hold me accountable, is the first step to conquering it. After all, what is there to be worried about if I really believe that God is in control of my life? Not a thing.