The Freedom of Limitations

Yesterday I talked about paying particular attention during our Lenten fasts and journeys. That is a difficult pursuit in a world where there are so many distractions and so much noise. Some of the distractions are good things…there is much in our world to enjoy and in which to be immersed. Still, sometimes the amount of information and the number of people we are in contact with is staggering.

We know more, more quickly, than ever before. We know about more needs, we know about more people who are suffering and we want to help in some way.  We are able to enjoy relationship with so many people through blogs and through Facebook…it really can become overwhelming.

Again, Lent speaks a word to us to slow down and to limit ourselves. To pay attention.

I came across an article yesterday from Winn Collier that really struck home…

“Lent asks us (could we please, just for this stretch of 40 days) to be more discriminating, more present. Sometimes to seek your one truth thing, you have to hide from hundreds of others.”

Limit ourselves.  Turn some things off so we can pay attention to the eternal, to Jesus’ time in the desert and to His walk to Good Friday and ultimately Easter.

 

There is great freedom in being limited. There is freedom in being told that we do not have to worry about everything in this moment. At least for these few days we have the freedom to set aside some in order to make one thing more bright.

 

The freedom of limitations. It sounds wrong….and yet, as we enter a little more each day into the discipline of Lent we find that the limits help us and give the space we need to concentrate.  That doesn’t meant that we immediately are at ease in limits; sometimes we need a few days to let the noise clear out of our own minds before we can settle into thinking about just one thing. Forty days is a good stretch, long enough to give us the space to clear our minds and to be comfortable in thinking about Jesus more intentionally.

 

I’m getting there…yesterday was better than the day before and today I am already looking forward to the time to read and to contemplate and to pray. I am hopeful that this Lent is going to be a season of truly seeking Jesus. A season of understanding more what it means that Jesus died to save me, a sinner. Then Easter….the explosion from the grave and our explosion of joy and praise after this season of austerity.

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12 thoughts on “The Freedom of Limitations

  1. erunner says:

    As I began the process of entering into Lent I did not want to approach this time like I was dieting. Giving things up totally until a goal is reached only to find when I got there I ended up returning to old ways and the weight came back.

    I would like Lent to be the beginning of some new things and by entering in without self imposed expectations/pressures will only benefit me.

    Limitations don’t necessarily mean total abstinence from certain things but daily decisions to do otherwise. Lord willing this will be a time of growing closer with my God and seeking to enter into a deeper understanding of what He has already done for me. Thanks for your articles Sarah.

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    • sarahkwolfe says:

      Hey Allan…sounds like you are in a good place for this season. I’m in a similar mindset…not setting expectations, but thankful for the opportunity to tweak my thinking and to make room for more intentional pursuit of God.

      Part for me is being caught up in so much busyness. Life is hectic with kids, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I love that we have active kids that are involved in things they love. Still…FB sometimes is just a break for me and a chance to keep in touch with folks…but sometimes it is just a time killer and keeps me from what I should be doing.

      So, when Noelle posted the other day that she was taking a fast it just struck me as the right thing. I’ve been on a couple times out of need to comment on friends’ walls, but overall it has been a good release to not be focused on the computer.

      I’m rambling 😉 At any rate, I do hope that you are finding some leading and that God meets you in this season…

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  2. Yappers says:

    I gave up blogging on PhxP for lent.

    LOL.

    Good article, much to consider Sarah.

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  3. Noelle says:

    This is so very good. Right now I am in the phase where the limitations are highlighting how very loud my life has gotten. Sickening, really. I will be able to resign from my job in 4 weeks (huge answer to prayer) and I believe God is preparing me to be INTENTIONAL with my place at home, rather than just filling voids for the sake of my own comfort. My prayer time has been very unique since Lent started. Excited to see How God is revealed in this season… and nervous to see how I am revealed :/

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    • sarahkwolfe says:

      It is amazing how loud our lives can be. I think what struck me in the article from collier is that limitations actually bring a lot of freedom…so often we see limitations as, well, limiting. 😉 I am still settling in to the rhythm of Lent, and that might be what I write on a little later today…I’m glad that it is a long season because it takes me a long to each a good place of silence in my mind….

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  4. Yappers says:

    Sarah, I have experienced the dynamic you describe above in the area of limiting adult male tendencies (I phrased that politely). It has had a very good benefit spiritually, relationally and physically. Though I don’t have victory in very many areas, this is one that has gone well and followed what you report above. I was a slave to it before, and I’m not anymore. There is a freedom to it. I get what you’re saying.

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  5. Yappers says:

    …let me clarify above: “adult male hetero tendencies” 🙂

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  6. sarahkwolfe says:

    Welllll…now how do I respond to THAT?! 😉 There is benefit whenever we have the ability to discipline our bodies. I think we live in such a comfortable society (at least here in the states) in regard to discipline that topics like Lent are uncomfortable…but, having the ability to limit pleasure is necessary.

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  7. Anna Howard says:

    Great post 🙂 you know, I like to think about the freedom of limitations as the freedom that the banks of a river gives to the water… without the banks–the boundaries, the limitations–the water would quickly spill everywhere, losing its force, its life, its motion, and causing disaster instead of bringing life… hmm… I think I’m going to link to you in a blog post!

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    • sarahkwolfe says:

      I really like the image of the river banks…and especially for anyone who has seen what happens when those limitations are taken away. Loved your post. You beat me to linking! I’ve been turning one over in my head for a couple days…we’ll see if I get it out today.

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