Lent Your Way?
This year is really flying by! I can’t believe we are already in March and it’s time for Lent. I am not Catholic in any way but I have always been fascinated by how Catholics and the, “I’m only Catholic on holidays” Catholics celebrate this religious process. The basic concept is denying yourself something for 40 days in an effort to draw you closer to God. It’s not Biblical but it is what they believe. I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t broken Lent within a week or actually avoided eating meat on Friday. I wanted to take this a step further to see if people can go without something important to them for any time period all in an effort to draw themselves closer to God? There are so many things we do on a daily basis that are such a habit that we don’t even realize we are doing them. Humans are ritualistic and forget to function on thought sometimes because it takes too long to break cycles.
What if we challenged ourselves to spend a few days trying something else? Doing something new or letting go of a vice that may be killing us in an effort to pull closer to God? And for those who don’t or refuse to believe in God, doing all the same just to find some peace of mind or clarity? I am not saying to do this for 40 days at a time but start small. If you smoke, go a full day without cigarettes. If you are a heavy drinker, cut back to once a week. If you have a gym membership that you barely use, make an effort to start going once a week. There are very big and small ways in our lives that we can make changes to find balance. It all comes down to if we are willing or not. I have challenged myself to get a lot of the stuff done around the house that needs it before it gets too warm outside. I like to do yard work in late Winter/early Spring versus trying to hump around all summer in the heat. I want to fully enjoy Summer this year. My smaller more personal goal, not just for 40 days, is to spend more time each day with God. I have found myself doing too much other stuff and then realized it’s just stuff. I felt empty.
What will you be inspired to do? Maybe it is time to let go of those old pains, get that big final cry out? Maybe it is time to try something new – almost anything new! Cliff diving in Mexico might not be your thing but wearing a dress for the first time in years might be your start. Going on that first date, deciding to take things to the next level, planning to get married or working toward making your relationship or marriage stronger versus throwing in the towel, or remembering why you have always loved that person no matter what and finally making your lives become one. It is never too late for any of this. You are the starting point.
Whether it is for Lent, one week or one day, you should strive to cut away the old bad habits. That is the only way new and positive habits will enter your life and stick around. What will you try today?