A Question Worth Asking
Frederick Buechner described as Lent as an opportunity to follow in the Lord’s footsteps. Christ spent 40 days testing what He knew about Himself – giving up three seriously appealing temptations. So, “[d]uring Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves.” (Lent) This is a question worth asking everyday – not as a weapon, but a tool. In a way, sobriety makes Lent a way of life.
God isn’t going to beat me up because of what I do, or do not do. But I need to examine my choices, understanding, apart from Him, I will feed my disease.
For some reason, I missed the memo that fasting doesn’t impress God, the one in the Bible. (Isaiah 58:1-14) Nor, does He write me off when I fail. (Psalm 34:24)
An Unexpected Wrestling Match
Awhile back I made it through one Lenten season, faithfully abstaining from two pleasures – well, three: bread and butter, and booze. I didn’t know how much I loved them until I tried getting through a day without them.
During those 40 days I got a taste of what the one-night wrestling match felt like which Isaac had with that Man! (Genesis 32:22-31) Whew!
At the end of that match, abstinence taught me more than I bargained for. Christ won the match — and with Christ, I had the courage to face my addiction to alcohol. God changed Isaac’s identity – and mine too.
Years later, and at my age, I am still wrestling – not so much with drinking – but with other habits, attitudes, etc that might open a door to places I don’t want to go. He wants me to see, what it means to be myself and how strong the hold is my little peccadilloes have over me.
An Opponent May Become Your Partner
Whether you are considering a discipline such as Lent’s 40-day fast, or just walking through this day clean and sober, may I commend my wrestling opponent – now partner: Christ?
Yes, He will show you weak places in your soul, but He is an ever-true support.
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful
PS: You might like The Side Effects of Recovery