The beginning of Lent marks the season of getting ourselves ready for Easter. Many Christians view it as a time of increased or contemplative prayer. Others consider it a space to pare down the busyness of our lives and minds to focus on our faith.
According to LifeWayResearch.com, most Americans who observe Lent do so as follows:
Give up favorite food or beverage
Attend church services
Give to others
Fast from a bad habit
Fast from a favorite activity
It seems the more “popular” topic of Lent is a time of fasting from (giving up) something we enjoy OR taking on something to enrich our closeness to our faith.
In the giving-up category of food and drink items, alcohol and chocolate usually head the top five list. Other items include meat, soda, sweets in general, coffee, fast food, and chips. (There are some people that I pray do NOT give up coffee. You know who you are.)
I have a friend who posted on Facebook that she’s giving up dropping the F-bomb for Lent. Just like last year. Since this friend is one of my nicest followers, let me say this: Give it up for good! You’re smart so you know it takes just 21 days to break a bad habit. The church is giving you 40 days. Use that time to your advantage. Imagine that one of your girls is always within earshot. OK, I’m done with the nagging. At least I know you won’t be cussing at me for a while.
Another friend told me that last year she gave up looking at her cellphone at every red light. (Funny how those habits can sneak up on us, isn’t it?)
Making rounds on Facebook right now is the 40 days = 40 items Lenten challenge. You’re to get out an industrial-size trash bag and each day place an item of clothing or a household item that you no longer wear/use. After Easter, donate the bag to a charity such as the Salvation Army.
I’ve decided to give up and take on several things.
I’m giving up three “sticky page” photo albums created in the 80s before we knew that wasn’t the best way to care for our precious photographs. In the same category, I’m giving up two large boxes of loose accumulated unmarked photos situated in an upstairs closet.
No, I’m not disposing of these photos. I’m taking on a labor of love by creating a number of scrapbooks with the various photos that make the cut to tell our family stories so that they’ll never be forgotten.
I’m giving up the need to hold on to every single photo just because it’s there. The blurry, unfocused, too dark, too light, who-or-what-in-the-heck-is-that photos will be culled.
I’m taking on reading a chapter a day of Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life. Conveniently enough, there are forty chapters.
I would love to hear what my Christian readers are giving up or taking on for Lent. I’m hoping that there is just that one F-bomb entry.