This year I have felt led to observe aspects of Lent. I know following customs of other religions is altogether taboo but hear me out. Other than some details my mom has told me from growing up as Catholic, I don't know much about the rituals, customs and traditions of Catholicism. And while much of the season of Lent is spent observing these rituals out of habit and duty, the true basis of Lent is truly appealing to me. Lent is meant to be a time of preparation leading up to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A time to prepare our hearts and reflect on his sacrifice for me, a time of prayer, self sacrifice and moderation. Giving up something for Lent is common in the place of fasting. This is typically a vice, a hobby or an indulgence that one greatly enjoys as a form of sacrifice, replacing time spent in that area with time spend with the Lord. Most people know my love for all things Disney, and there in is the problem, that people may not as easily recognize my love for the Lord. I have decided to give up Disney for Lent, time normally spent listening to Disney videos or podcasts are now replaced with listening to scripture on my bible app, Disney music will be removed from my playlist and only praise and worship will play for this 46 day time frame. Disney as a whole is not bad (although they seem to be straying more each year) and neither is chocolate or meat or most other items given up during this observance of Lent. What is bad, is the attention and focus we give that item as a place of honor in our lives. Whether we worship our bellies or our need for entertainment, all our needs are provided from God and we should be giving him this place of honor in our lives. I'm using this season as a time to re center my focus onto the Lord, to take a step back from my obsession with Disney and draw near to Jesus and really reflect on the scriptures. My goal is to have listened to the entire bible during Lent. Not that I will retain it all or be all fixed and perfect when it's over but one thing is certain, I will me closer to Jesus than I was and that will be a reward greater than anything imaginable. "That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the Lord your God as before." Joel 2:12-14 NLT


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