Here we go – 40 days to Easter, the beginning of Lent. It’s the time of year we mark our foreheads with the ashes of mortality and repentance. Some of us will cut habits, foods, purchases, etc. out of our lives so that we may, in some fashion, draw closer to God. We do this in solidarity for when Jesus fasted in the wilderness while being tempted by Satan. Our troubles aren’t quite the same as being stranded without food, but we can certainly do our best to make an effort to recognize the life of Christ and His sacrifices for us.
This year is my first participatory year of Lent. I definitely knew about the season in the past and had friends who gave up a variety of things, but I never did anything alongside them. This year, something changed. In simplest terms, you could say that I feel like I need to be closer to God. In other terms, I realized that I need that clear reminder from a craving that Christ laid down His life for me. I need the reminder that Christ gave it all so that I wouldn’t have to. That the power of the darkness will in no way ever overcome the power of God’s Holy light. So here we go, 40 days.
I have been thinking for a little while about what I should give up. I could think of a number of things that I should change, but not many that were very practical for this season (my procrastination habits cannot be conquered). I settled on a few ideas and am choosing to not only give up, but also to take on. This Lenten season, I will read a book alongside the New Testament; cut down on the swear words; stop eating fried foods. These were the three main things I felt I would be able to do for God, others, and myself. They are the areas that will not only remind me of the reason that we participate in Lent, but are also constructive to my life. I obviously need to read more of the Bible, there are other words that get the point across, and we all know fried foods aren’t positively contributing to my non-existent six-pack.
I am determined to make this season of Lent a solid foundation for years to come. So we’ll see. I’ll fight off the late-night Cookout runs, the swear word I voice when I oversleep my alarm, and my extensive aversion to opening up a book. It’ll be a tough 40 days, I’m sure, but I believe in the power of prayer that will lead us closer and the power that God gives each of us to overcome the temptations that may lead us astray. Here’s to Lent. A time of sacrifice for an opportunity to remember the ultimate sacrifice.