American Idols: Facebook and Chocolate

Facebook and Chocolate.  Well, maybe not American Idols (although they do have many) but, Ellen Idols?

Dark Chocolate Berries by LN by ekhum, on Pix-O-Sphere

This semester I’ve been in an in-depth Bible study, studying Old Testament Kings and Minor Prophets. Unfortunately, most of the Kings lead God’s people into idol worship and all sorts of wickedness. And the prophets warned and rehearsed God’s grace, forgiveness and restoration to the people, “if” they would only repent, obey, and love God, they would live in a fruitful land with peace. Who doesn’t want that?

It would be so easy to say, “tsk, tsk, tsk, those people should know better…” And shake my head at their wayward, stiff-necked ways. And then I look at my heart, my choices, my idols. I realize I’m just like them.

Journaling by LN by ekhum, on Pix-O-Sphere

Today is the first day of the Lenten season, the 40 days (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. It is a time when many (typically traditional) Christian churches teach preparing for Easter by fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. They set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.

The Bible does not mention Lent, per se, but it does urge repentance, fasting, and mourning in ashes. Although I was raised in an evangelical church and not a traditional one, and I’ve never attended an Ash Wednesday service, I still feel compelled by God’s Spirit to observe Lent, through fasting certain foods or things that take my focus away from Christ.

I know my efforts, works, good deeds, cannot save me, as Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “It is by grace you have been saved, thus by faith, not of yourselves, it is a gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” I cannot earn favor with God but I surely can relate to Christ’s suffering by giving up some of my idols.

If you know me at all, you know that I simply adore chocolate, especially the dark variety. I’ve allowed chocolate to be my “go to” for comfort, rather than God too many times. I’ve allowed myself to spend much time on social media, rather than in time with my Savior, being more productive, or serving someone in need… Therefore, for this Lenten season, I’ve decided to fast Facebook and chocolate.

I will still be eating, so don’t you worry about me wasting away. And I’ll be posting on my blog (which is linked to Facebook), emailing, texting, and phoning… But most importantly, I will be applying deeper spiritual disciplines so that I may identify with Christ – his suffering and sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection, resurrection into something new. Like a butterfly from a cocoon.

Butterfly by LN by ekhum, on Pix-O-Sphere

I’ll see you on the other side but I pray you’ll see less of me and more of Him.

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