In this chapter, we discuss with tweens and teens the meaning of Lent and the implications of the season as a child of God.
Day 14: What is Lent, Anyway?
Biblical Big Idea: He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among the wild animals, and the angels took care of him. ––Mark 1:13
Lent is a season during the church year that comes before Easter. Lent reminds us of the time in which Jesus went away from his disciples to go into the wilderness to fast (not eat or drink) for forty days and forty nights while focusing on prayer with God. Many people much smarter than me have debated exactly how Jesus survived for forty days and forty nights without food or drink. I do not need that level of specific understanding of what happened back then. I am comfortable with simply having faith.
When I read this passage, my understanding is that Jesus separated himself from the world for a long time, denying his human needs in order to focus on his spiritual needs and his relationship with God. During Lent, Christians (that includes me and you) are called to be more like Jesus during this time. This is one reason that Christ Walk makes a good Lenten discipline.
Different people have focused on becoming more like Jesus in many different ways. Some people give things up during Lent (sweets, bread, soda, arguing, whining, fighting) and other people take on new habits that they feel draw them closer to God (studying the Bible, working in a homeless shelter, doing a good deed each day, praying, walking, running, meditating). All of these habits make ourselves more like Jesus and thus closer to God. All of these are Christ Walk “miles” and activities.
In the Christ Walk program, we choose to walk steps and take on different activities that represent our relationship with God as a part of our journey. You may do this during Lent or during some other time of the year. Anytime is a good time to be more like Jesus. It does not only need to happen during Lent. What does need to happen is that you need to choose habits to focus on and improve that will instill discipline in your life that bring you closer to God.
Things to Think About:
1. What’s a discipline?
2. What are some disciplines I can take on that bring me closer to God?
3. What are some habits that I need to give up in order to get closer to God?
4. How does it make me feel to give something up for a long period of time?
5. What do I think was on Jesus’ mind when he was in the wilderness?
Christ Walk Kids covers many topics related to health and spirituality: physical exercise, nutrition, sex, drinking, drugs, praying, lying, stealing, bullying, and many others. I did not write the book for kids to read in a vacuum. I wrote the book as though I were talking to my own children with the hope that it would open up honest dialogue between my child and me. I hope you will also read the book with your children) and go on a journey with them that helps to build a foundation of healthy choices: mind, body, and spirit. I think having an open dialogue about any subject with our children is the key to understanding what is going on in their brains and their lives. This book is how I would talk to my kids. It may not be how you would talk to yours, so again, include yourself on their journey and share your own thoughts and feelings on the topic. You may be surprised at the discussion the topics generate. Be open; listen actively; and no matter what you hear, love your child anyway.
You may not agree with everything I wrote. That's fine, just talk about those thoughts and feelings with your child and you will be building a spiritually fit relationship with your son or daughter that doesn't shy away for their spiritual and physical and mental development. It takes a tribe to raise children. We are all in it together. #christwalk.