There are so many more things I could accomplish if I could survive without sleep, exercise, and food. The hours added to my day would be incredible. However, those particular rites of human existence are what fuel me to be creative – to be physically, mentally, and emotionally fit for the tasks at hand. More importantly, I rely on my devotional time each day for spiritual sustenance. Without prayer and Bible reading, I lose my connection to God – a connection I need to not only survive spiritually, but physically as well. I love that I can talk and pray to God any time during the day or night, not just during my quiet devotional time.
It is a common practice during the Lenten season to give up something. Many of us choose trivial vices we think we can do without for six weeks: chocolate, caffeine, dessert, cursing, and on and on the list goes. Actually, giving up certain “favorites” for six weeks can have a positive effect on us in the long run. I believe the true meaning of Lent and giving up something is achieved when we make an intentional sacrifice that strengthens our Christian purpose.
This Lenten season, I will sacrifice a few “vices” that give me pleasure – the discipline alone is a true strength builder. I will also use this sacrificial season of the church year to begin a long-term journey of loving the unlovable. Most of us are blessed to be in the company of happy, friendly people. But in the real world, we encounter unhappy, rude, disrespectful people. They are still our brothers and sisters in Christ and need to be loved, and most definitely, prayed over. One day it occurred to me that many unhappy people really are happy – they are happy being unhappy. How sad – sad for them and sad for us. So this Lent, I choose to give up lashing back and defensiveness towards the unlovable. There is an endless cycle of hurt people hurting people out there. By choosing to love hurt people, we sacrifice anger and hate and instead receive the peace that surpasses all understanding.
Robert Fasol, Choir Master and Organist