Lent is the season consisting of 40 days in preparation of the believer through prayer, doing penance, repentance of sins and self-denial starting on Ash Wednesday. This year Ash Wednesday falls on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Lent prepares for the Holy Week- the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The season ends on Thursday, March 29. The 40 days replicates the sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s journey into the desert for 40 days to draw near to God.
Now I realize that this information is not new and also not interesting to some, but keep reading and HEAR ME OUT.
These 40 days can be a religious refreshing. A renewing of your faith, sacrifice and belief in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he made for us. It can also be 40 days of refocusing energy. A revitalization of the mind and body to a more positive and inspiring approach. The world is fragmented and full of negative energy. Imagine if just once, we all came together to bring about a bright and positive zest for life. A wave of an attitude of gratefulness, kindness, tolerance and peace. These are the things I want my kids to feel in the world.
Every year I feel as though Lent approaches and brings with it stimulating, refocusing, renewing spirit. I have, throughout the years, given up a multitude of “luxuries” in order to “sacrifice” in replication of Christ’s journey into the desert for 40 days. While these sacrifices did allow me to see a view point of Jesus sacrifice in the desert, I was struggling to find a true connection with God in that loss.
I eventually decided to try and refocus my energy to a more encouraging and thankful perspective.
You see, I don’t feel like (and I’m sure some will disagree) that the Lenten season is just about sacrifice. Spending 40 days drawing nearer to God can mean a lot of things. For a few years I spent 40 days journaling (on Facebook) the things I was grateful for. This ranged from sunshine, to my kids, to my marriage, to specific friends and family etc. It really helped me to focus daily on something specific I was truly grateful for in my life. Not all days are bright and full of positive fortification but every day I could find at least one thing I was grateful for and this helped me appreciate the things I have been given, instead of focusing on the things I didn’t have. It really gave me a perspective of positive joy and fulfillment for what God’s provided in my life.
Perhaps you could chronical acts of kindness. 40 days passing on the kindness presented to you through Jesus Christ in his sacrifice or just 40 days of kindness to make the world a better place. Whichever fulfills your heart’s desire.
Another year, a good friend of mine decided to give up phone time and social media until her kids went to bed. Now as much as we all like to say that we are “not addicted” to social media or our smart phones…let’s be honest. I have not personally done this but it’s a true sacrifice (warranted enough) to set that phone down and ignore it for 3-4 hours when your kids get home from school and before they go to bed. However, the reward is being more present and mindful in the lives of your family and I can only imagine getting more done in the evenings and having a more productive and constructive night OFF the phone.
I’ve done the normal, giving up soda, sugar, fried foods, etc. The things that we love but know we don’t need. There is nothing wrong with this either. If it’s a sacrifice that you truly have to use will power to complete, then I feel like it’s respectable. Anything that reminds you of the fact that you are surrendering something you love to help you refocus on God, positive energy, a fulfilled life etc.
There is a definite influx of negativity in the world whether through the media, social media, TV etc. I had several people comment during my 40 days of grateful, saying they couldn’t wait every day for the next positive note I was dropping and that it reminded them also to be thankful daily. Social media isn’t all bad and if you can be a positive force, why not be one!
For me, it’s specifically about remembering Christ’s sacrifice because he loves me. As important as this time of the year is in my own Christian life, this can be something people use in any facet of their journey. Spend 40 days being grateful, kind, generous, loving, sacrificing something that you love, and refocusing on a higher being and a BEING more positive voice in this world.
Join me. Drop a note on what you would like to sacrifice or refocus on during the Lenten season.