>> Monday, February 20, 2012
I've always heard the phrase, "Go big or go home." I guess this is the year for me to do that. Even though I'm not Catholic or Lutheran, I've always tried to give up something for Lent. I guess it stems from my extended family all being Catholic and having grown up around people who observe Lent.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Lent, according to Wikipedia, it is, "he Christian observance of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday....The traditional purpose of Lent is the penitential preparation of the believer – through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial.....During Lenten season, some faithful observants generally commit to a form of fasting or (temporarily) give up certain types of luxury." Lent is about 40 days long, though some churches exclude Sundays (so you don't have to deny yourself on that day) and some include it which makes it longer than 40 days. Also, I know that many that observe Lent also give up meat on Fridays (only eat fish/seafood) but because I love seafood, this has never been a sacrifice for me and not something I typically observe.
For me, since I observe Lent on my own and not through my church, it has always been a time for me to give up something that is taking a lot of my attention and focus that attention on reading my Bible, praying and remembering the sacrifice that Jesus made for me on the cross. Whenever I think of that item or desire it, I redirect my focus towards Christ.
This year, it's going to be big for me. There are a couple things in my life that I know aren't healthy for me and have become a higher importance in my life than what I would like. I don't want to brag or make a bigger deal than it actually is, but I just want to say that this year is going to be tough for me. It will definitely cause me to focus and rely on Christ more in order to last the 40 days. I'll probably mention it a few times over the next 40 days, but I'll post at the end of the 40 days and let you know how it went this year.
So, I guess the point of this post is to encourage you to consider doing something for Lent this year, even if it's not something you have ever done before. Your church doesn't have to celebrate Lent in order for it to have an impact on your spiritual journey. Lent starts this Wednesday, February 22, so you still have a couple days to decided if you want to participate and what you will sacrifice.