Lent is the Christian season that reminds us to prepare for the future coming of Christ. It is full of purposeful days in the Christian belief; Ash Wednesday, Spy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday and many more.
In early traditions Christians were suppose to prepare for the coming of Christ by praying, asking for forgiveness, giving to the poor, and self-denial. This isn’t quite what happens these days and I have heard many people say in the hallways and bus “I gave it up for Lent”. But what did they really give up?
Coffee, tea, chocolate, wine, red meat, and sex are actually some of the most popular self-denial commitments people make, but it begs the question of “so what” and “what else”? I think if you are giving up one of these things either you are enjoying them a little to much to start with, or you never even have them! I can give up wine very easy as I don’t drink, I won’t comment on a few others, but SO WHAT?
There are four areas of preparation for Lent and self-denial is the last on the list. Look at the others; prayer, forgiveness, and giving. So if you have given up chocolate for lent great, but have you meditated in earnest? Have you forgiving someone and asked for forgiveness? Have you given to someone in need?
Living with purpose at Lent means all four, not just giving up the chocolate. There are about 30 days left in Lent and I challenge you to think about this and prepare yourself not only for self sacrifices but also for self reflection, forgiveness and giving.
What would people think if I was asked “what did you give up for Lent” and I said, I take 20 minutes a day to mediate and pray, I have forgiven and been forgiven, I am volunteering every night at the food shelter, and I have given up sugar. Now that is Lent.
Live with purpose and take the time to reflect on what that means for you. Lent is the perfect season to do just that.