For the Love of Lent
When I was young, the season of Lent meant managing my friends. At the end of every February I'd make mental notes like these:
Don't invite Sally Sweet to spend the night, she's given up sugar for Lent. What's The Love Boat and Fantasy Island without a Big Gulp and a candy bar?
And later as a teen:
Please don't let Tom Foolery ask me out! I heard he's given up fun for Lent.
And then as a young adult:
Better not invite the Legume family over for dinner this month, they've given up meat for lent. Whatever would I serve them, rabbit food?
It was all about avoiding those who were avoiding the good stuff.
Occasionally over the years I'd jump in and try to give up something, touting my omission to anyone who would listen. Finally I realized that fasting from something wasn't enough, I needed to use that time to privately grow and know God.
So this year I'm not giving up Starbucks (shocker), red meat, or my Crazy Heart soundtrack, rather I gave up my notions of what the Lenten season is. I put away past experiences and ideas and started from square one. I researched, read and prayed about Lent and believe I'm different because of it.
Most noticeably, I've learned that Lent isn't about me and my power to preclude. While it's difficult to enter into this season of sadness, joy always comes in the morning and we will celebrate with joy on Easter.
We will celebrate God, who with his abilities and power is the only reason I can do anything at all.
Nicely expressed reminder. Thanks!
As someone who has mostly avoided the idea of giving something up for Lent, I can relate. I wonder, if in those few times I have given something up – has it really had meaning for me, other than to mean I’ve limited myself from something? Have I really, in those moments, thought about the greater reason for doing this? The honest answer for me is “no”. Maybe it’s about really letting this idea of what Jesus did reach more into the depths of our soul. Giving up chocolate, or Starbucks (grin), or some other so-called vice doesn’t work for me. It’s about being mindful to what took place so many years ago, and what that means for me today.
Audra, you shine here your beautiful spirit…
Thanks for stopping by and commenting Kate. Blessings to you!
Thank you Lance. I always appreciate when you share in my ideas, makes me feel like I'm not the only one who thinks/feels the way I do. Thank you for your authenticity, as always.
Amen and praise Him for making the ultimate sacrifice so that we don’t have too.
Besides giving up coffee… really, ha!
I agree Ginger, Amen.
Oh my gosh, I laughed and then nodded my head as I read your post on Lent. Audra, why on EARTH would anyone give up sugar OR Starbucks (speaking to both your friend, and your attempts to detach from Our Lady of Starbucks)?!! I think even Jesus would have eaten a Chunky, washed down by a Big Gulp and/or a caramel machiato. (smile)
Even though I was baptized Catholic, my family didn’t enforce much of the religion, so Lent is a bit foreign to me. Although my brother is a devout Catholic… I should see what he’s doing this year (I think it was giving up negativity).
Anyhow, I loved reading this, and wish you a wonderful season of Lent (is that the right way to word that?). ~ With love ~
Megan, Your comments are killing me! So, so funny. Our Lady of Starbucks, I LOVE it. Yes, you should check in with your brother, giving up negativity is always a good thing, no matter what the reasons behind it! 🙂 Thank you for your Lenten wishes, Peace to you sweet sister!
One year, instead of giving up something, I made it a point to send a card or letter to someone every single day. It was nice to do something positive for the season and I hope I made others a little happy.
Well you've made me happy just hearing about what you did. How lovely. Thanks for sharing your idea, I just might try it one year.