Today is Ash Wednesday, so tonight we went to the services at our church. The message was divided into 3 parts. During the first part, the pastor and the lay leaders were doing a reading about spiritual growth and what do you know - they compared it to a marathon. That's right, a marathon. And when you think about it, it is.
If you just "try" a marathon, you might finish, but you will be struggling and you will hurt. But if you "train" for a marathon, you will be much better prepared, and your outcome will be better. The same holds true for spiritual growth. You have to "train" yourself to really grow in your faith- you can't just "try". So true.
We were given a sheet of paper with three sections on it. For the first one, we had to mark what spiritual disciplines we were going to commit to during Lent (regular worship attendance, praying daily, partaking in communion as much as we can, etc). The second lesson and section of the sheet was on forgiveness. Who will we focus on forgiving and/or asking forgiveness from? The third lesson/section was on giving. We were suppose to write down what charity or cause we would commit to giving time and/or money to. My daughter leaned over and said, "that's an easy one for you". And it is right now since I am training and raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society once again. I am also mentoring, so I am giving of my time to help others succeed in the program.
However, Lent is not about being easy. The tradition of Lent is that we are suppose to give up something that is a sacrifice for us. My daughter decided to give up Coke. She doesn't really drink a lot anyway, but she also isn't really suppose to have any now that she has braces, so that was a good choice. I asked my son what he would give up. I think he's still thinking about it. He said he could give up something (I forgot what it was), but that it would be hard. I told him that was the point. He really wants to give up vegetables, but I told him he couldn't do that.
As for me, I find it hard to figure out what to give up as well. In the past I've given up Coke, chocolate and Dorritos. Now I rarely have those things. And I suppose that's the point. I guess I'm still thinking, too.
On the training side of things, I did get out on my tri bike Sunday for about an hour. It was really windy, so it made the ride feel really hard. I went back out today for about 40 minutes and it was windy still. I also got cold today as I rode as the sun was going down and I had shorts on today (it was in the 60s). I don't think my body has warmed up yet. I'm such a weenie when it comes to cold. I'm definitely going to have to layer when I go to Tahoe.