The title of this post could easily be the subtitle for my life, so this won’t be that surprising. I’ve written a couple of times about Lent already, but wanted to share what I’m (still) in the process of learning.
My small sacrifices (no coffee and no soda) have, sadly, felt more difficult than I first thought they would be. Wow, do I miss coffee! And why does 40 days feel like 6 months? I’ve been drinking tea instead, and after Lent, I don’t think I’ll be drinking tea for a very long time. Seriously. But somehow my focus had gotten to be about the self-denial aspect of Lent. Give it up, suck it up, get through it. Jesus suffered infinitely- can’t I deal with just a bit of unpleasantness? But underneath, I had a sense that I was missing something.
And of course I was. I was whining a bit to my wife about missing coffee (as she enjoyed a delicious cup, since it’s not her thing for Lent) and expressing what I wrote above. She pointed out that there was much more than simply self denial to learn from. Instead of simply focusing on what I’d prefer to have or enjoy, I could let that longing direct me to Jesus. To remember that He is the true source of life, the source of every good thing. And when I experience the wistfulness (or whining internally, in my case) for something else, I can simply turn my heart to Jesus. Simply point my heart to Him. Remember that He is what I need most- all the time. So, thank you, wonderful wife of mine! I was really missing much of the point- hence the title of the post.
So I’ve been trying to do that more- simply allow my longings to lead me to Jesus. No, He doesn’t make me want coffee less. But I’m hoping (and starting to taste, pun intended) that missing something else can help me to long for Him more.