Thursday, February 18, 2010
Some thoughts on Lent
In the car this morning I was listening to my local country station. They were talking about Lent and asking people to call in with what they were giving up. Things like gossip, swearing, junk food and shopping. I grew up with a Christian background and in my early 20's I was dating a devout Catholic. So I do have some sort of idea of what Lent is about. For a long time I thought the idea of Lent was a joke. Someone gives up chocolate for 40 days and this renews their faith and makes them a better person in the long run? The alcoholic gives up booze for 40 days and that excuses him of his wrong doings for the rest of the year? It seemed ridiculous to me. Just another man made way of justifying our wrong doings. But in my recent days of soul searching, I think I have come to a different understanding about this whole Lent thing. This morning while I listened to people talk about what they were giving up for Lent, I felt inspired instead of annoyed. Being that I am more spiritual than religious, I am able to wrap my mind around the concept of Lent if I look at it as spiritual discipline; Feeding of the soul through change, reflection and success. Each of us has our own thoughts, our own beliefs and our own struggles. But isn't it true that by reaching deep within ourselves and recognizing what it is that we need to give up to make our spirit smile again is worth the discipline it will take to get there? Whether you are religious or not, it takes a strong spirit to accomplish something. So I am choosing to see Lent this year as a time of reflection and accomplishment. Quite recently I have decided to make some changes in my life. I will be celebrating my 36th birthday tomorrow and my goal is to give myself the gift of CHANGE. I have a strong desire to turn some bad habits into good ones. Am I giving anything up? Yes I am. Am I gaining anything from my sacrifice? Most certainly. My decision to make these changes came before I even considered that Lent was right around the corner. Will I say that "I'm giving it up for Lent?" Probably not. But I will say this, I am always inspired by those who make sacrifices for the good of themselves. But today I am especially inspired by the many voices on the radio this morning who were speaking directly to me (even though they didn't know it) about their personal struggles. Because we all know, what you decide to give up for Lent is going to be something you're struggling with. I wish everyone who is working through a struggle or breaking a habit peace in your journey. I have read that it takes 30 days to break a habit. Lent lasts 40..... 40 days that quite possibly could last forever.