by Sandra Crenshaw
By observing Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Jesus was sent by the Spirit into the wilderness where he fasted and prayed for 40 days. During his time there he was tempted by Satan and found clarity and strength to resist temptation. Afterwards, he was ready to begin his ministry.
This Lenten season, I made a commitment to set aside evening meditation and prayer time. In fact, I am using the Living Well Through Lent 2017 Listening With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength and Mind (a resource from the Living Compass Organization) and Lenten Meditations 2017 (a publication from the Episcopal Relief and Development Organization). As with most new endeavors I undertake such as an exercise program or a diet, I usually am pretty gung ho in the beginning. So it was with my meditation and prayer time. Having made myself a comfortable little spot, I looked forward to reading the passages, meditating on them, and journaling my reflections. However, now that we are halfway through Lent, I’ve been noticing a nudge to do other things. When my evening prayer and meditation time draws near, I have been hearing a tiny voice enticing me away from my place of prayer. Sometimes the voice says “Watch the news and find out what is going on in the world. You need to be informed.” Other times the voice encourages me to check my emails, Facebook, Instagram, or to take time for myself to watch a movie. You see, Satan too is tempting me in my desert. He is tempting me to not spend too much time with God. And just as Jesus in the desert, I too must be strong and resist Satan’s temptations to keep me away from my Lenten promises. In fact, what I am realizing is that we all need to be mindful on a daily basis of the many temptations that bombard us away from the living Christ.