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The Journey of Lent

March 8, 2011

Lent is a new thing for me personally. It was not a part of my childhood, or even my first few years of following Jesus. I have some mixed feelings on Lent, but ultimately I think it can be something that can be very special in the life of a follower of Jesus.

Last year was my first year of really partaking in fasting leading up to Easter Sunday. That is what Lent really is, a time of self-sacrificing in order to focus in on what took place on Good Friday and Easter Sunday nearly 2,000 years ago.

Last year I decided to drink water for 40 days. No other liquids entered my body. Not juice, not coffee, that one is worth repeating, NOT COFFEE, not soda, not beer, not wine… nothing but H2O. It was incredibly hard for me. I wanted to quit time and time again. I would have quit if it weren’t for my buddies, Mookie and Wes, that were doing the same thing. I can’t tell you how much that kept me accountable.

Here is the thing… I gave up what I thought was a lot…but I didn’t have this life-changing experience with the Lord due to my abstaining from all liquids outside of water. I thought that by simply doing that, I would grow closer to Jesus and have this sweet relationship with God. This did not happen. I don’t think God is looking for us to do more stuff like that. He is not impressed with my drinking only water. Can you imagine what Jesus would say “WOW, that Josh Barton said no to that Coca-Cola AGAIN. Each time he says no I am more and more impressed with his self-control and faith.” Nope. Pretty sure he isn’t impressed with that.

Last year I tried it. It was good. I learned a lot. BUT, not because 0f my goodness, but because I learned in spite of my works. I learned that no matter what I am doing, eating, drinking, whatever, if I am not seeking the Lord actively then I am not going to grow closer to Jesus.

So this year… Same thing… kind of. Nothing but water on Monday thru Saturday. Sundays I can drink whatever. No TV for the Barton household. All of this because I want to grow in my walk with Jesus. In case you’re curious, I have thought about the whole telling others about your acts of righteousness thing. When Jesus gives us instruction in Matthew 6 on how to act while giving, fasting, and praying. I am writing all this not in hopes of receiving praise or pats-on-the-back. I am just wanting to fall in love with Jesus, and I understand that these things in and of themselves do not accomplish that.

So… here we go. H2O.

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