Lent, day two. My head hurts and I would love some bread right now. But that’s not what matters. It’s not about how well I ‘sacrifice’ or how righteous I can get by how much I give up, all in the name of God. If that were the case, I wouldn’t be getting anywhere. In The Great Exchange it says “One cannot earn a gift; otherwise it can no longer be called a gift. Instead, it becomes a wage deserved.”
Anyone who has been around any human longer than about two seconds realized pretty instantly, we do not deserve the gift of grace, righteousness and life. So this season of lent has to be about me accepting that gift and living in it rather than doing what I can to feel like I’ve earned it or I deserve it. Living in that allows me to live less carefully (as I heard it phrased recently). I can bask in the beauty of God and the security that I can do nothing to earn what He’s given me.
Today at school I realized that very few people know who I am or even acknowledge my presence. In each of my classes there are a few people who I would consider friends that know me. But in comparison to the rest of the student body, I’m widely unknown. Normally I would go to sin over that. Throw myself a pity-part and wonder why nobody likes me. But not today. I realized that I don’t need people to see me or say hi to me to validate my worth. These people don’t matter. I’ll probably never see them again, and it’s not like what they think will ever affect me. I don’t have to worry about them.
Also, it gives me freedom to just be still. I don’t have to throw up walls or façades or try and figure out who they want me to be. Which I shouldn’t do anyway, but that’s something I’m really working on. If these random people I see don’t care, why should I? I can just learn to rest in the knowledge that God has me. God sees me. God loves me and really, why should I care about anyone else?
Granted, I do. I do a lot, actually. But I shouldn’t. More and more I’m starting to understand why I shouldn’t care. How can anyone else’s opinion of me matter or define me more than the opinion God has of me? It can’t matter. That’s a really beautiful thing.
Reading Genesis is easy. Even reading Exodus is pretty simple. It’s loaded with stuff, for sure. But I can get through it pretty quick. It’s Leviticus I can’t get through. That book creates this block that extends through Numbers and into Deuteronomy. These come around day 11. I know that because I tried this last year. I couldn’t do it. I got discouraged because I wanted to read those books, but I couldn’t do the 26 pages in a day and I didn’t want to skip. Can you believe it? I couldn’t read 26 pages. In one day. It’s a joke.
It’s a joke because I’ve read every single Harry Potter book, most of them in a single day. I didn’t just read them, but I absorbed them. I can still recall very menial details even years later. So why should those books be so easy to read, when the Bible isn’t? Because I’ve made it that way. I’ve chosen to make it hard on myself by my attitude and perception of the content I was reading. So, if that’s the only thing in my way, I’ll change it. Ask God to give me the courage to examine my heart and change it toward Bible reading. Once at that place of being willing to change and desiring to see where your heart is, it’s so easy.