Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lent Chocolate

Today starts the lent season.

My first thoughts went to the movie Chocolat.

This is a story about a single mom and her daughter who move to a small European village. She rents a dilapidated storefront and opens a Chocolatery (Chocolate shop). Unknowingly, because she has never attended church, she choses to do this at the start of Lent. 

The town is small and heavily influenced by the mayor who is consumed by his interpretation of church rules. He clearly communicates his disapproval of anyone who enters the Chocolatery with frowns and furrowed brows. The people obey with saddened faces.

Overtime the woman makes friends with the townsfolk. A few sneak into her shop and enjoy not only the delicious tastes of her wares, but her kind heart. The mayor becomes quite upset, voicing his disapproval and demands that no one speak with the woman.

At the climax of the movie, the woman gives up her business and decides to leave the village. Her daughter and people from the village want her to stay.

I won't tell you the end, but the resolution was good.

To me, the purpose of lent is to draw us close to God. We are asked to set aside something that holds our attention dearly, and instead give that time to God.

So in the case of the movie, if someone were to have a strong desire to eat chocolate daily, he/she might choose to give up the eating of chocolate for the period of lent. During the time normally spent enjoying the chocolate, the person spends the time with God either in reading the Scriptures, meditating, praying, singing, etc.

The purpose of lent is not to call attention to ourselves and how we are "suffering". The Bible tells of the pharisee who stood on the steps of the temple and prayed aloud for all to hear while the poor beggar humbled himself. God said the pharisee had his reward with the attention he garnered. 

So, if you choose to participate in lent for some or all of the forty days, choose to spend extra time with God and not boasting your hardship to those around you.

The key is not giving up something you like. 
Rather, the focus is on spending more time with God.

This post is brought to you by the one word: Focus

Your turn: I realize this needs to be a personal choice, but some of us might have trouble choosing something to set aside for lent. What is something you have given up for the period of lent?


Joanne Sher said...

Funny you should ask. I JUST decided to give up chocolate (it was a whisper in my ear - trust me, I wouldn't choose it myself lol). I don't usually give anything up. Hoping that each time I crave chocolate, I will satisfy that craving with Him. :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I'm choosing to give up negativity. I want to focus on the good in life, because God is good and He gives us a great life in Jesus. It won't be easy for me, because I love being snarky and sarcastic, but it will be good for me to transform my thinking.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Mary, I have been thinking about this and I need to give up nighttime snacks, but more than that spending that time with Jesus instead. I've been on a Made to Crave God journey and I think this will be the next step.

Mary Vee Writer said...

"Satisfy my craving with Him." Good words, Joanne.
With God's strength and encouragement, He will help you meet that goal. Sounds like an awesome 40 days are ahead of you.

Mary Vee Writer said...

This is a great goal, Sherrinda.
But as a sister friend, I hear your words as jocose (hah look that up :) ), jocular, quick witted, sparkling, and fanciful. (I love the thesaurus!)
Still, God is asking you to address something that you know in your heart. Just please don't change the fun Sherrinda I know.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Ah-hah, the healthy trek.
AND the "Made to Crave God" is a great idea. Short, easy to remind ourselves. And very true. Thanks for sharing your plan.

Janice said...

For Lent I am thinking of whittling down the number of clothes I own. I could probably do fine if I chose 40 items. I do like most of my clothes so it would be a sacrifice and it would csrry forward into the rest of the year. But my sacrifice would also take away a burden of time spent deciding what to wear. More time for God thoughts.

Mary Vee Writer said...

You make me laugh. Your sweet spirit is just so pleasing it makes me laugh. I think we could all do this same sacrifice and give better quality clothes to the poor as a result.

Love your comments…so much.
Now you have to stop by and tell us how it went.