It’s not about me

Last night I started The Purpose Driven Life as part of Lent devotional. Rick Warren suggests that you mark up the book and use it as a place to meditate on the things discussed in each chapter. While I can’t bring myself to do that, I thought I might use my blog as the place to process these thoughts. That way, I can pass the book along to a friend if they are interested when I’m done- and won’t feel bad for having marked it up so badly.

At the end of each day there is a summary, which I think I’ll include and then I’ll contemplate it’s meaning.

Day 1: Thinking about my purpose

Point to ponder: It’s not about me.

Verse to remember: “Everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.” Colossians 1:16b (The Message)

Question to Consider: In spite of all the advertising around me, how can I remind myself that life is really living for God, not myself?

I almost feel like the point to ponder ‘It’s not about me‘ would better serve as a mantra than a temporary point to ponder. I feel like in some ways it is much bigger than a thought you consider for a day, but is rather something you need to constantly be telling yourself. I’m not saying to abandon all selfish pursuits because I think that those are incredibly valuable tools, but what I mean is that I think it’s important to focus more on the questions of what does God have planned for me, than what do I want to do with my life.

When an opportunity passes you by I think it’s important to contemplate whether it is something God might be asking of you. I can’t really figure out how to make this more tangible and easy to grasp. I guess it means that God created you with a purpose for your life in mind, and some choices you get to make, and others were set out by Him. So in addition to doing things that will enrich your life you need to be on the lookout for those things that you can do to please God.  

I think that in this day and age, where so many twenty-something’s are leaving college with the impression that they can have exactly their dream job, and to settle for nothing less, it’s hard to not become self-focused. It’s hard to not consider yourself first because we did grow up in a day and age where we got trophies for everything, where we were told daily how unique and precious we are, and where we are told to dream big. There is nothing wrong with any of those things except for that we were never taught how to put living for God first. Again, this is something that I find somewhat hard to reflect on because I feel like it’s just something you need to remind yourself daily, but I did want to try and contemplate it a little more deeply.

Let me know if you have any thoughts, I really would love to hear them.

 

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Lent 2014

As I start this blog I can’t help feeling an overwhelming sense of deja vu. I feel like I’ve already written this post, which is odd because I most certainly have never endeavored to do anything like this project before.

As most of you know the Lenten season begins today, March 5th with Ash Wednesday. and goes until April 19th, Holy Saturday. It is common practice to “give something up” for Lent, a practice that even those who aren’t church go-ers often participate in. There are two beliefs for the fasting. The first is that you fast as a form of penitence for your sins. The second theory is that the fasting is a reminder of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert being tempted. I’m not sure that these two things really have to be mutually exclusive. 

This year for Lent I have decided to do two things. The first thing I am doing is giving up Facebook and Twitter. I’ll be honest these two vices are big distractions in my life. I am actually glad at the excuse to forgo them for 40 days. Granted, just because I am glad at the excuse, does not mean it will be easy. I do believe them both to be a source of negative energy in my life, and in many ways they ‘tempt’ me to sin. They evoke gossip and judgements about people in my life. They steal time away from more noble pursuits. And while it is never something I intend, they also may serve as a platform for boastfulness. So for these reasons, I am giving them up. I am allowing myself to stay on some social media (Goodreads, Instagram) because I feel like I don’t waste nearly the amount of energy or time on them, and I feel like they are positive outlets for my passions in life.

The next thing I am doing is a more ‘contemporary’ view of Lent

Instead of fasting, I will be indulging. Indulging in the word of God that is, and indulging in the interpretation of it by other spiritual leaders. Each day I will devote the time to reading the selected passages from my YouVersion bible app. It’s a program that will lead you through the Bible in a year. I’ve gotten behind so I’m actually only in Exodus right now (Pharoh Pharoh just let his people go!- please get the camp song reference there). The next thing I am adding is reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I knew I wanted to add a devotional type activity, and this book actually works well for it. It’s 40 chapters I believe.  And I believe the version I am getting (coming in the mail today) will have those little bar codes you can scan with your phone to get additional content online. I am a little tentative because I feel like I’ve heard negative things about Rick Warren for some reason, but I am optimistic about the experience.

I know that Lent should be a time of sacrifice and so I can’t help but feel like I’m doing it a little bit “wrong” that I am actually excited and happy about the changes this Lent season may bring to my life. It is what it is though. What are you giving up for Lent? Are you adding something? Please let me know what you’re up to and what you think of my plans. I’d love the feedback!