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My Own Pursuits

This Lent I have focused on pulling back from the secular world. I find its temptations have grown in my heart like a cancer. The more I untangle its arms, the more arms I find underneath. The first arm I detached was my unhealthy eating. Now, I am no longer focused on food. The second arm I detached was screen time. When I reduced the passive entertainment in the house, the children started to engage in active play. The third arm I detached was my tepid approach to the season, and I decided to make Lent meaningful for everyone. We include more prayer and Scripture study in our day.

I felt I had a good start to Lent until I read what Isaiah said to the people about the Sabbath Day. The Lord God wants my full attention for one day every week. If I could only see my husband or my kids for one hour every week, it would never be enough. If God is the center of my life, why is Sunday so hard for me to give up? Why is that the catch up on stuff day? Why is it the emergency grocery shopping day? Why is it the going out on the town day?

If I moved all of my Sunday activities to Saturday, I would still be infringing on God's time because His day begins Saturday evening. The answer is that there are five perfectly good days for me to get things done. If every Friday is a celebration of Good Friday, then every Thursday can be a little Holy Thursday to feast with family and friends. Saturday can be a preparation day with house cleaning and grocery shopping. That leaves Saturday night and Sunday to be offered to the Lord.

If you hold back your foot on the Sabbath from following your own pursuits on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight, and the Lord's holy day honorable; if you honor it by not following your ways, seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice -- then you shall delight in the Lord, and I shall make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isa 58: 13-14

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