Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Lose weight: fast

40 days and 40 nights is a long time.

Today is shrove Tuesday, we are on the verge of lent.  As we remember Jesus spending well over a month in the desert without food many of us will give something up as well but before we do we are all going to pig out one last time on what we traditionally refer too as pancake day.

The list of stuff that people 'give up' for lent is a long one.  Chocolate, cigarettes, KFC, Facebook, gambling, donuts, clothes shopping... I could go on, but if all we do for lent is give up stuff that is bad for us then we have missed the point entirely.  Lent is much more than a detox program or a weight-loss experiment.  When we put-off the old thing, the bad thing, the thing we feel we need, we are to replace if with a new thing, a holy thing, the thing we know we need.

Some of us had a go recently at reading the bible 90 days.  It was a good exercise, I think, although it was a hard slog at times and a little overwhelming.  The thing is though that simply reading the bible on it's own does not grow us closer to God, we need a relationship with Him to, we need to talk with Him. Lent is an opportunity to develop our relationship with God and put him to the forefront of our lives.

Use lent properly.  When you crave the thing you are fasting from use that as a reminder that God is more necessary to you than what you crave.  When you miss food or cigarettes or whatever, pray.  With God's help when this period of lent has passed maybe we will crave God the way we crave take-aways and that's something we'll never have to give up.

After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Matthew 4:2-4


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