I attended a private school for almost my whole life. Ever since I was four years old in kindergarden until I was eighteen years old as a graduating high school senior. I was surrounded with the teachings of my faith every day. Looking back on it, I appreciate my parents for providing such a wonderful opportunity because it not only has helped me set a solid path toward my career, but also has laid a foundation for my faith.
It is the 16th day of Lent (almost 17th) and I have spent time thinking about my own journey of faith. Every Lent, I have tried to sacrifice one thing out of my life for forty days and forty nights. When I was younger, I’d simply only give up meat on Fridays, which was important for any practicing Catholic during Lent. The next big sacrifice I remember was giving up swearing when I was in middle school. One year, it was candy and sweets. Another year, instead of sacrificing something, I spent more of my time praying. I went to mass every Sunday (yes, I know that’s suppose to happen anyway…give a busy girl a break once in awhile?), listened to the readings, and was engaged in Father’s homily. This year, I have given up all social media (Facebook & Instagram). I don’t really see my blog as a social media because I don’t use it to connect with others, just to simply reflect or post some great coupon finds.
Anyway, looking back at all my sacrifices…I realized that the older I have gotten, the closer my relationship with God has grown. Each “big sacrifice” is like a leap of faith. It reminds me of the story when Jesus tested the faith of his disciples.
Peter replies, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” So Jesus invites Peter to come. Peter gets out of the boat and begins walking on the water toward Jesus. But when Peter takes his eyes off Jesus and sees the wind and waves, he begins to sink. Peter cries out to the Lord and Jesus immediately reaches out his hand and catches Peter. As they climb into the boat together, the storm ceases. Then the disciples worship Jesus, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
I was like Peter before, scared and afraid. I was too afraid to make big commitments during Lent, such as changing something so routine in my every day life. So, I have always made “small” sacrifices because I didn’t believe that I could do it, didn’t want to remind myself of having to give something up, or honestly, sometimes I didn’t want to give up something at all. However, the closer I become with God and the more I grew to know and feel His love…the less fearful I became and the more I started to trust my faith in Him.
To simply give up something for forty days does not compare to Jesus’ sacrifice…for He loved us so much.