Today is the first day of Lent so I thought I would post my wonderings about it. To do this, I want to make a comparison from the realm of chemistry. Please keep reading even if you hate science! This will worth two minutes of your time. =-)
The Law of the Conservation of Mass states that mass cannot be created or destroyed; it is merely rearranged.
Here is a chemical equation with chemical symbols: CH4 + 2O2 = CO2 + 2H2O
Same equation in word form: methane gas + oxygen = carbon dioxide + water
Again but in picture form:
If you look at all the atoms, they are the same on both sides of the equation. There are four different substances but the amount of matter is the same.
Now let’s take a look at the idea of giving up chocolate for Lent. Fred is pretend. I am using Fred as an example so anybody named Fred is not to be directly associated with this post. =-)
Fred has 100 units of energy to spend each day of his life. These 100 units can be divided up however he wants to divide them. Fred really likes chocolate. He devotes 10 units of energy to chocolate. Thinking, buying, making and the eating of chocolate takes up 10 units of the 100 units that Fred has each day. The other 90 units are spent on everything else. Fred is disciplined so he only devotes 10 units for chocolate. Never more and never less. For Lent, Fred decides that he will give up chocolate. It will be difficult be he thinks he can do it. Now, he has all 100 units of energy to delegate to whatever he wants. Just because he always gave 10 units for chocolate does not mean that he loses those 10 units when he gives up chocolate. He has 100 units and will always have 100 units to spend. This is the law of the conservation of mass working in his life.
Let’s see if we can put this all together.
I can pursue God however I would like. Reading my Bible, praying, going to church, worshipping, or having coffee with another believer are all ways I can do this. I have the same amount of time that everyone else has. There may be a myriad of ways to spend it but it is there everyday. For Lent, the idea is that I am supposed to give up something. Great! But now what do I do with the extra time I have? Fred has 10 units of energy (that he used to spend on chocolate) that he gets to spend on some other thing. Maybe he will read or write or play a board game.
If I give up something, what will I do in place of that thing?
Whatever you are doing this Lenten season, I hope it helps you to draw closer to God. If you need to fast or give something up for these weeks leading to Easter, than do it. Make an effort to find God in a new way. I think Lent is about clearing the clutter and listening for our Lord. Whatever actions that means for you, awesome.
Remember the law of the conservation of mass. You will spend your effort on something so you might as well make it something great.
Colossians 3:17 says “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Great points Tim; I am giving up watching the nightly news, keeping up on the news is my obsession that I recognize I could use that time for something more important, so for Lent I will devote that time to prayer.