Activity No. 2: For individual
- Check also: Activity 1 (Group/Household) – “The CROSS”
- Go Back: Celebrate with the Cross: Lenten Activities and Reflections
Do you have goals that you wanted to achieve in your life? Do you have targets or deadlines in order to accomplish a particular task? Can you identify how productive your days? Mobile applications are the easiest and fastest ways. Digital calendars can easily pinned your schedules for a month or even a year. But, we can be more creative in monitoring our everyday activities.
Let me give you an example. In order to have a more committed and meaningful celebration of Lent this year, I have decided to take the “46-Day Challenge”. Forty six days (including Sundays) without eating meat and drinking soda. Plus the daily battle against other form of temptations and addictions such as:
- Spending not more than 15 minutes on social media (for continuous browsing and reading posts) except messenger for urgent messages.
- Avoiding bad words and bad thoughts
- Don’t scream, don’t lie, don’t kill time
- And other worldly temptations
Unlike the previous years, I have added a simple activity that will measure the depth of my personal commitment with Jesus and the desire to be with Him on this special days. I chose the one that is closer to my heart – painting.
Activity proper and its lessons:
- Think of anything that will represent the number of days (40, 46 or any days you preferred). These are the days you discerned to offer for Him or anything that you would like to accomplish given a certain period of time (e.g. cards, small balls in a bowl, candies, charting, etc.). In my case, I painted 46 Grapes on each day and mark the fruit as good or bad.
- Good Fruits (Violet Color) – represent a victorious days. I was not tempted neither to eat nor to commit any grievous acts that will make my Lord sad.
- Bad Fruits (Brown Color) – I lose the battle. Sad! I fell on the devil’s trap and let him rule the day. Totally felt bad and guilt crippled all over my body and soul. In short, I failed.
- Bread and Wine – representing the body and blood of Christ.
In one of those instances, I was weak and Satan had the chance to use me to tempt a friend. We were both abstaining from eating meat and I was totally aware of that. With higher conviction that everything will be okay and nothing will happen just for one day, I encouraged her to eat meat with me that totally broke our promises and commitment to God.
Afterwards, I prayed to God to forgive me. On the next day, we saw each other again and got the chance to personally ask for forgiveness.
Conclusion: In this simple activity, you can easily check and identify your level of commitment not only because it was lent, but for everything. It is also applicable for any specific activity you would want to track (if not possible for all days). Ultimately, identify your reason behind the decision to sacrifice. You can easily check which area you need to improve, you need to avoid or stop and then work for it in order to achieve your goal – the fruit.
For example, you want to buy a book and your objective is to finish reading it within a month after purchasing it. But, it’s not included in your budget. So you would start saving money and avoid things that does not support your goal. You can have a “jar”, and you can put every single penny you saved. You can also charge yourself for every single day wasted. By this, you can save and at the same time you are motivated.
Above all, let me remind you that every single day or activity is an opportunity to give GOD an offering being our Creator and the source of everything. But, don’t just focus on the reason why we do such things. May we all have the ability to recognize “God’s ultimate purpose”for our daily existence. So, in everything and all the time, commit to be with Jesus and give Him all the glory.
Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3 ).
As for the fruit of our sacrifices, believe that God knows what is best for us. He knows our desires, our dreams, plans, aspirations, etc. Colossians 3:23-24 is an affirmation for this. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Practical Lessons for all days…
Friends, these activities remind us that life is not easy as preparing the cross and painting or eating the grapes. May we all take the lessons from it and be ready because every single day is a battle.
- Always start your day with a prayer. You need to get up and pray no matter how bad your physical, mental or emotional condition each morning. How much more if you will wake up feeling so blessed and satisfied with your life. A grateful heart and humble spirit that seeks God’s presence will always bring us a victorious day.
- You have to remain calm, focus and think positively in the midst of a terrible situation. Never give Satan the chance to use you for his bad ways. Once we lose our mind and cannot control our emotions, it’s an opportunity for him to enter and ruin your day and someone else’s day.
- Be humble and honest all the time. Acknowledging your weaknesses, shortcomings and sinfulness will not make you unworthy to be called God’s son or daughter. It’s a manifestation of your greater desires to be with Him.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2
- Do everything out of love. Give your heart not only for the one you love but for all including your difficult boss, the strange taxi or bus driver, your arrogant friend, a rude stranger… as in ALL. It can also means to love the things that you do – your work, your passion, your talents, your gifts and appreciate other’s works as well. Jesus did not choose whom to save. He died for all of us to help and redeem us.
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
- Cheer up and find joy in everything that you do. Your smile is the immediate relieve from stress, it’s the best weapon against your bad day. Cheerful mode gives you light and blocks negative vibes. When you are joyful, you give yourself and others the impressions that everything will be alright, direct you to solutions for every problem, and positive thoughts to worry no more.
Jesus Rises from the Dead. – Luke 24 or Mark 16
- Pray before bed time. Always return the glory to God. He walks and works with you the whole day. He is the fountain of Love, the same love that you freely shared. He gifted you with wisdom, talents and with everything that you have. Now, rest. God will watch you and send angels to guard you while you are asleep and then wake you up the next day.
God is the source of life; He is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. – – 1 John 1:15