Lent 2018: Friends – A Gift from God

Lent 2018
Name: Christopher Cho
Lenten Commitment: Prioritize people over technology and spend more time with friends in-person.

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For my Lenten commitment last year, I tried something that I never did seriously, which was to praise God through music and do my QT at home every day. Doing daily QT sessions was different from just listening to God’s message on Sundays. While the weekly “vitamin-like” sermon from Pastor Dan lifted my spiritual energy for that one day, daily QT continuously gave me the boost I needed to get through the week.

This year, I decided to open myself up and embrace a concept that was new to me: my relationships with my friends and others are gifts from God to me.

The ability to interact and enjoy time with one another is a God-given gift that I often take for granted when, in actuality, it is a gift that I should be praising God for this blessing upon my life. However, before I started my Lenten commitment, I spent more time on my phone than I did talking with my brothers and sisters offline. I would even spend time with my phone when I was physically surrounded by my friends.

At the beginning of Lent, I struggled to think of ways to embrace this new way of thinking about my friendships. I could not think of ways to spend more time with my friends. Regardless of whether I was thinking of my friends at school or at church, I could not think of a way to improve my relationships with them. I was stuck thinking, “I already spend enough time with them. What else can I do?”

Eventually, I decided to call out to God for help because I could not think of a way to better appreciate His gifts. In the end, God answered my prayers in an unexpected way through a series of events during a trip abroad.

I went to a five-day school trip to Quebec, Canada with a group of underclassmen. I was a little discouraged and expected to be the outcast because I was the oldest one there. To my surprise, right after the first day, some of the other students came over to me and welcomed me into their discussions! By the end of the trip, they had welcomed me into their circle and let me hang out with them for the rest of our time in Quebec. I became their friend as they became mine. We even created a group chat, which was actually my first group chat ever.

Thanks to God, I was able to feel happier and experience the joy of being around people, people with whom I never expected to be friends. God opened up a new social path for me to explore; it is one that I probably never would have gotten to on my own because I would have just continued to feel like an outcast and stuck to my phone.

Because of this experience, I really started to thank God for all of the blessings that I have in my life. Due to my being a sinner, I think that there are many things that I do not deserve, but have, thanks to God’s love and mercy. This year’s Lenten experience so far has helped me learn that God can answer prayers if you really put your heart and mind to it.

For the rest of Lent, and even beyond this time, I will rest assured that I have friends that came from my answered prayer to God.

Editor’s note: Chris also wrote a Lent Reflection in 2017. To read that post, click here.

This post is a part of DSYG’s Lent Reflections series meant to educate and inspire readers on the season of Lent and its value in any Christian’s relationship with Christ. For more information on this series, click here.
To read more posts in this year’s series, click here.

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