The Lenten season has arrived, and most of us will be eating fish on Fridays until Easter is over. The other thing most of us try to do is give up one thing during Lent. What did you give up for Lent?
One year I tried to give up coffee, it wasn’t good for anyone who encountered me. I love my coffee and I didn’t realize how much it helped me in the morning or throughout my day. My family and a few of my close friends said that I needed to try to give up something else. Not only was I miserable without my coffee, but I made everyone who I encountered miserable. I was so upset that I failed that year. Over the course of trying to give up one thing, I failed more times than I made it. How could I not make it? Jesus died on the cross for me and my sins and I couldn’t make it for 40 days without coffee? What’s wrong with me? That’s when I looked at Lent in a different light. Lent doesn’t have to be about what you’re giving up; it can be about what you’re giving back. So, the last five years I started to do something different. I set a bag in the corner of my closet and each day during Lent I take one article of clothing off a hanger and put it in the bag. After Easter I donate the bag or bags to one of the local charities in my area. I made it through without feeling bad about myself and I helped people find something newer to wear.
Lent shouldn’t make you miserable or feel bad about yourself. It should make you feel accomplished for what you did for those 40 days. A few of my friends started doing this too. One of them said it was one of best things she had done.
If you struggle with giving something up, try giving back. There are so many ways you can make it though Lent without making yourself miserable. Try paying for someone’s order behind you in a drive thru, help someone carry something heavy when you see them struggling, let someone know you care and you will always be there when they need you. You can hold the door for the person behind you or smile at someone who you’re walking past. Simple acts of kindness during Lent may just continue on for the whole year. Jesus Christ gave up so much for us, we really need to try to do our part not only during the Lent, but in our everyday lives.
So, here’s to Lent. I pray each of us will continue to do good all year and always remember to spread God’s Love.
Rock on, people. Rock on.