Read: Genesis 50:2-3 (NRSV)
The ancient Egyptians developed a detail process of embalming a body far beyond practicality as an art form and a hope that it would prepare a person for their spiritual after-life. After thousands of years archaeologist who uncover these remains find the dried-up version of what was left unused in the afterlife. Which affirms that old saying, “you can’t take it with you.”
In life, hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in gym membership, health equipment, rows of books and hours coaching to prepare our bodies for daily life. Imagine investing the same resources we devote to preparing our body, to developing our spiritual relationships.
By comparison, jot down the amount of time you will spend this week in prayer, Bible study, fasting, service, and worship. Of the one-hundred and sixty-eight hours available this week, how many hours will you devote to working on your spiritual growth? A tenth of that time is sixteen hours. Maybe you save it all up for the Sabbath rest. I spent eight hours on a spiritual name will not fuel the struggles we face each day.
For those who see the season of Lent as a time to give up a particular food, like chocolate or alcohol; or time online, or watching television, or something that we like for the sake of practicing self-denial, I suggest we let all that go. Instead, see this at our intentional time of focusing on growing our spirit. That will likely mean we have to make time or give up somethings to make it a priority, but that helps us see the priority and not the denial. Typically, we are already rather proficient in denying that our spirit needs attention.
If we spend 10 mins in prayer each day, how much closer to Christ would you be if you doubled the time? If we read a two-minute devotion and pray for the day, how much deeper would our faith be if we wrote a devotion to share with someone else. The usual recommendation in increasing ‘reps’ and adding ‘weights’ that helps our bodies become stronger and have greater endurance will hold true for our spiritual work-out plan. Six days God gives us to work, how much farther can you make progress when eating a good spiritual breakfast? What does it look like when we go without Christ in your day routine? Make the goal to increase your training list and stick to it.
Action Plan: Make two realistic lists: one of things you would like to do to strengthen your spirit and one of what you would be willing to lay aside this week to make growth possible.
Prayer: Jesus give me strength to let go of the things that I have laid aside that you might be more present and real in my daily life. Amen.