This is my second year participating in Lent. I didn't grow up participating in this tradition but I found it to be a powerful exercise for me last year. This year I decided to give up Facebook for Lent. It wasn't exactly easy for me to decide to give up Facebook. (Here's how I decided on the Facebook sacrifice.)
I deactivated my Facebook account. I had a few days of a surprising relief. I didn't feel torn away. I felt free of something that had a hold on my time. That was a nice surprise. That wore off and then I felt like something was missing. I remembered a suggestion from a friend: The practice of Lent works best when it is more than just self denial. The preparation of my heart during the 40 days is effective when I dedicate myself to the growing of my faith. In other words, instead of just giving up something, I should take on (or step up) something. I should replace what I am giving up with something that will draw me closer to God.
I spent a day or so wondering what I should do. I prayed. I found a desire to increase the time I spend in prayer and Bible reading. That desire is a constant desire, though, so it didn't seem like enough for my Lent observance. Then it hit me. I need something that I can focus on constantly during this season. I need something to draw my attention. I gave myself a goal: scripture memory.
To the best of my ability, I am going to memorize Psalm 103 during Lent.
I will share with you pieces of the chapter on Sundays.
Today I am focusing on the first five verses. These verses remind me not to forget what God has done. In ways, I cannot imagine ever forgetting. But I do go through many days not remembering.
I will not forget: God is full of grace. He provides. He redeemed my life. He loves. He is compassionate- beyond all I can comprehend.
Psalm 103: 1-5
Praise the Lord, O my Soul, all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my Soul, and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your life with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.