Read A Devotional Every Day Of Lent

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“Each day you must choose: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”
  --
Bill Crowder, “Of Pain And Gain”

Lent started on Ash Wednesday, the day after
Mardi Gras, and ends on Easter.  Normally, people observe Lent by fasting, like Jesus did in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights where he was tempted by Satan. 

In the past, I have observed Lent by fasting as well.  One year, I was really into
Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and I gave those up, and twice before, I gave up eating meat (all meat not just red meat).  This year, I struggled to figure out what I was going to do.  It’s not that I don’t have any more vices.  In fact, the opposite is true.  As a recovering addict, I tend to get fixated on many things very easily.  I just wanted to do something different this year.

I ended up asking other Christian men that I work with what they were planning to do, and my friend and coworker John suggested picking up a good habit as opposed to subtracting a bad one.  So, I decided to read a devotional from
Our Daily Bread every day from Ash Wednesday to Easter.

On Ash Wednesday, the message for the devotional was totally appropriate to my goal:
“It’s the journey, not just the destination, that’s important.”  It made me remember that it wasn’t just about getting to Easter but to enjoy what I was going to find on the way.

Almost every devotional I read held some wisdom I could use in my daily life, but a few messages stood out to me:
  • -“The poorest person is he whose only wealth is money.”
  • -“Even the hardest of souls might ask for help when someone they love is at risk.”  This message was unexpected.  It was about being a go to person.
  • -“Courage will follow when faith takes the lead.”

These were all great, but my favorite one was from
April 16:
“Present choices determine future rewards.”

The thought that we have a choice between being disciplined or becoming regretful struck me as profound.  I think it applies to my everyday decisions and it gave me a new perspective on being lazy or procrastinating.  I always hate it when I think “I wish...”, and that’s regret from not doing something earlier.  In fact, one of the reasons I took on this project is that it forces me to actively do something every single day.  It’s an exercise in discipline.

The last day of Lent is Easter, and my reward for being so diligent for 46 days was that the Easter devotional was about one of my coworkers, Visual Effects Supervisor
John Knoll.  John Knoll and his brother Thomas invented Photoshop, and the devotional was about things that look too good to be true, which is what we try to create at my company on a daily basis.

I really enjoyed this addition to my life.  It reaped many rewards and cost me only a few minutes each day.
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