Search for that image on Google and you will find thousands of examples. From artwork to coffee mugs to tattoos.
It is a choice, right? Sometimes choosing isn’t easy. Sometimes making a choice against what we are truly feeling can be an inward struggle. A battle.
It’s the right thing to do.
Not because it makes the world a better place.
Not because everyone around you will be happier.
Not because it’s easy.
When we choose joy, we make the decision to look beyond our circumstances, beyond the anger, beyond the disappointment and be grateful.
To find the thanksgiving. To find the blessings.
LENT. I’m giving up Facebook. I’m giving up chocolate. I’m giving up bread. I’m giving up soda.
But why? Do you know? Is it just “the thing” to do?
Lent is far more than that to me. It has deep significance and meaning. I don’t take it lightly, or flippantly.
For me, Lent is step one in prepping for what is the most important holiday in my faith. Easter.
If you are not a Christian this post won’t hold much meaning for you. Please don’t be offended. This is just me, explaining why I do something. Why something holds such great meaning for me. Truly personal.
So if you’re curious…read on. If not, it’s ok…click away…there will be something far more fun and light hearted next week. We can still be friends. I don’t judge you. You don’t judge me. Deal.
I could try to explain exactly what Lent is, and why I observe it. But my friend JT postulated (I LOVE that word!) far more eloquently than I ever could. JT is the pastor at New City Church – the church we used to be a part of in Michigan…the church that we still love so dearly. He is the same man up front on Sundays as he is all week long – that is a rarity! He loves Jesus. He loves people. He also loves the Celtics, but that’s a total side bar and completely irrelevant! New City Church is about making disciples…period. Come as you are. Leave completely changed. If you are ever in Grand Rapids, Michigan please stop by. I GUARANTEE you will be welcomed with open arms!
Anyway….I asked JT if I could post his words about Lent and I got the thumbs up! Yes!
I had a completely different blog post written for today.
Last night, I thought I had it figured out. My expectations of others is too high. And I’m easily disappointed. I still believe there is great truth in that. Possibly a personality flaw?
However, I think there is more to it. Ultimately, I think I am saddened by the state of humanity. I am fully aware that we live in a fallen world that is full of sin and darkness and evil and yuck. We see it every day. But I guess there is a part of me that just wanted to believe that people are “better” than that. That in general, we WANT to be kind, grateful, happy, honest, loving. That we want to build each other up.
That is not the case.
And it really shouldn’t surprise me.
I’ll be honest. I haven’t had the most stellar start to this year.
More honestly. I feel as if I’m on one of those spinning rides at a carnival that you choose to get on, then it spins you so ferociously you can’t wait to get off and then you feel like you want to throw up!
So I’m calling for a do-over. A fresh start. Allow me to introduce myself…
An end? Or a beginning?
I think I will choose to look at it as a fresh start. Something new ahead.
I don’t want to feel as if there are things I didn’t do, words I shouldn’t have spoken, people I didn’t connect with, places I didn’t go, goals I didn’t accomplish, a God I didn’t serve well.
What if I view 2013 as a preparation for the new year? A training ground.
Mistakes = lessons learned.
Unfulfilled dreams = something to strive for.
Painful words spoken = tongue training in restraint.
Missed opportunity = a new chance tomorrow.
Not enough hugs = more time to cuddle.
Tears = a balm for my face.
Disappointments = a lesson in flexibility.
Think of the spontaneous laughter. Moments of surprise. New friends.
The unexpected. The joyous!