Tonight I am pondering this passage.
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.
When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, "My vow was a mistake." Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.
Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 (NIV)
Because I am pondering, I will keep my words few...My favorite book to mention these days is Crazy Love. (I am almost finished!) Francis Chan mentions how flippant we often are with prayer, then challenges readers to think about how their prayer lives would be different if they truly imagined themselves at the foot of the throne of God when they prayed. It convicted me to think about how to balance authenticity with God with reverence. I also felt challenged to guide my children beyond their 'thank you for my stuff' prayers and into more of thanking God for who He is...
The second paragraph got my attention in terms of 'giving up' things for Lent. I confess, as a Protestant, I don't always think of it as a 'vow.' Reading this made me think about things differently.
I am still praying and pondering, but also wondering if this speaks to anyone else out there...