Is it strange that something in me is a little sad that I no longer must spurn tea, now that Lent is over? Perhaps less strange upon some reflection.
Why do we fast in the first place? It is to sever attachments to other gods, yes, but the heart of fasting is to become more attached to God himself. How is this accomplished by giving up tea, coffee, chocolate, or whatever else? When we sacrifice, we suffer, and when we suffer, we seek consolation. Deprivation craves satiation. When you cannot turn to tea, you must turn to something else, you must turn inward, inward to God.
And I think that explains my sadness—because during Lent my soul drew closer to its Maker. Under His wing, against His breast, I am warm—as I should be always. Which leads me to the point that sacrifices must, absolutely must, extend beyond Lent, or a soul will not draw nearer the Lord. Lent, as a friend told me, is a detox, a time to cleanse one’s system from toxins—afterward you must begin a lifestyle that is “healthy”, otherwise detoxing is without lasting purpose. Sacrifice—suffering—is not optional for the Christian if we wish to be healthy in spirit. Without sacrifice, there is no sanctity. Without sanctity, who are we but of the world? And we were not made for this world but for the next.
I was not made for tea but for Truth.
“If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy, I can only conclude I was made for so much more than all this.” One of the more profound quotes I’ve taken from C.S. Lewis’s work. Of course, he has plenty more to add, but it is an excellent summation of the point. There is something in the way that God created man where our spirit is trying to pull us to a greater dimension than we understand in time and space. A point cannot understand a line, nor the line a plane, nor that plane existence as an object. We however are given an awareness of something greater than our current existence. The longing for that which is greater, for its greater wholeness, is what God uses to turn our hearts to His love.
Beautifully and simply said and profoundly meaningful. Thank you for putting your personal reflection out for the rest of us to benefit.
A beautiful and a hard reminder — but the hard ones are always the most necessary. Thank you for it!
Beautifully explained. Thank you.
Thank you! I also sometimes miss more difficult seasons of my life, because I was made to trust God more in the uncertainty and to lean on Him during those times. In less trying times, it’s easy to go one’s own way and forgot about the Maker.
When we sacrifice, we suffer, and when we suffer, we seek consolation. Yes, yes, yes. We practice hope, even unconsciously. Even when there is only darkness, cruel emptiness, and we’re back-to-back with Jesus on that cross, we know He is holding us and that He felt exactly what we are feeling at that moment. That is union. That is being the Bride.
I too love the Lenten season. I am gung-ho and take our Lord’s hand as we run to the desert. Then sometimes my breaks go on and l barely stick my big toe inside the gates where the sand meets the pavement, so-to-speak. Thank God there are 40 days and not 40 minutes to remain with Him in the place of mystical union.