Yesterday we began our day the way we do every morning, with our Bible reading followed by prayer. I explained that today is Fat Tuesday and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday which signals the beginning of Lent. What's Lent?
Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. And here is where I get a little confused. As Christians aren't we supposed to be acknowledging Lent year round-not just for the 40 days leading up to Easter? Yes. Of course. In the life of a christian it isn't just the Lenten season that brings up a sense of sacrifice and awe. We should be honoring Lent in our hearts everyday.
That being said, many people decide to give up something for Lent-a sacrifice. One year I gave up coffee. For 40 days. I gave up wine, juice, beer and shots of tequila, but it was the coffee that was my undoing. The one comfort food I allow myself in liberal amounts. I justify it. For medicinal purposes. After that 40 days I swore I would never give up coffee for Lent. Ever. It was a fundraiser. For my favorite nonprofit. When I sent in my check (all the money I saved not buying coffee and shots of tequila), I sent with it a note saying, "I will not be participating in this fundraiser ever again. Thank you. xo" My Mister later commented, "You could've just written a check and been done with it." But I wanted to walk that long and dusty road of loneliness. It about killed me. It was not a bright time in my life. I feebly walked that lonely road whilst suffering caffeine withdrawals. It was not a worshipful time though it did bring me to my knees-I was exhausted from not having coffee.
I guess where this brings me is back to a conversation I had with a friend several years ago when I was pontificating what I should be doing for Lent. She said to me, "Honey, Jesus paid it all. Why do you think you can add anything to that?" And so for Lent I think I will give up trying to add anything to that which Jesus has already done. Maybe it's just me, but I think HIS sacrifice is big enough. And in the misquoted words of Charles Dickens, I will honor Lent in my heart and try to keep it all the year. xo