LENTEN DEVOTION for Tuesday, March 27



Generous God, help me receive your good gifts and respond with giving.



Abba Zosimas said: Inasmuch as God is good, God has given us to profit from everything. However, we become attached and misuse God's gifts; and so we turn these very same gifts to destruction through our evil choice, and are therefore harmed.

The Apostle Paul said: "'All things are lawful for me,' but not all things are beneficial. 'All things are lawful for me,' but I will not be dominated by anything." 


Abba Zosimas gets it. He gets what Lent is all about. In this last week of the Lenten season, we may wish for it all to be over. However, the self-examination that ought to occur during Lent is not for nothing. The things we have given up or taken up should teach us how to live the rest of the year. What we learn about ourselves ought to be carried through Easter.

Zosimas reminds his students that God gives generously. Yet, we mishandle the gifts. We eat and drink too much, we spend hours in front of entertainment systems, we make hasty purchases or we fill our days with so much that we simply are not mindful of others. When we misuse the gifts of good food, relaxation, money and time, they begin to take from us. Lent can be a season where we learn what has taken over our lives and muster up the discipline to scale back.

Andrew Taylor of Melbourne, Australia illustrates this point well. Andrew is a self-declared "food addict" who could not control his appetite. His eating habits got in the way of his health and family. Andrew was tired of the destruction his addiction was wreaking on his life. He was tired of letting his appetite dominate his life. So Andrew decided to take drastic action on his addiction. He committed to eating only potatoes for a year.

His strict discipline, over the year, enabled him to relate differently to food. After the year was over, he was able to commit to a plant-based diet. Andrew "changed his relationship with food" with his rigorous discipline. His discipline taught him how to control his appetites and enjoy food for what it is-a gift. We too can change our relationship with the gifts in our lives that have become destructive. We can learn to receive all good things as gifts. The question is: are we willing to do what it takes to change not only for Lent, but for the long term?


God of my life, give me courage to take action, that I may receive the gifts of this life with joy.

***I heard about Andrew's story on the Rich Roll podcast. You can read more about him here: https://www.spudfit.com/ 

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