Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The Path of Self-Denial

It's Ash Wednesday and so Lent begins. This year, rather than 'giving up' something (which is admirable but alas in the past hasn't made me any more like Jesus, it's just saved me some money due to decreased chocolate consumption), I want to travel down the path of self-denial.

If there's anything the human race could be accused of, it's the obsession with self, the monarchy of 'me' - and I count myself firmly in that camp. Despite my best intentions my needs, wants, almost always come first. Self-discipline is not one of my strong-points - it could not be said of me that I 'beat my body into submission' as Paul would advocate.

However, it wouldn't seem right for Lent to take on a legalistic tone where guilt comes to party for seven weeks as I fail day after day to live up to my higher-than-possible standards. Smoking-cessation advertisements carry the tag, "requires willpower". My experience is that willpower alone may not be enough to knock the King of self off his throne.

So here's what I want to do - and this post will act as a kind of accountability:
* Purposefully invite the Holy Spirit to fill me each morning for strength to live for Christ and not me
* Pray with Kathryn each night rather than watch the West Wing (!)
* Listen for God's whispers of, 'do you really need to buy/eat/do that?' and obey
* Keep an eye open for instances of self-denial taking place in the world, and blog them

Let's see what happens!

2 comments:

Lou said...

Thanks for this Mr Moo...Lent, fasting, the reason behind our motivation and ultimately the change it will bring is something I'm trying to think about and take seriously this year. So it's good to read your thoughts.

Mr. Moo said...

Thanks Lou. Lent is now over for another year, and alas I don't think I listened as well as I might.

But remembering that it's not about feeling guilty I press on for a new day's walk.