I wanted to make my title a little more catchy - like "Giving Up Lint for Lent"...but it seemed a little sacriligious...so I'm just sticking with the simple.
Last night, not sure why, but I asked Dylan when Lent begins. And I'm not sure why I even thought about asking Dylan...because all I got from him was teenage shrug, raised eyebrows that said "why are you asking me" and a gruff "I don't know".
So, of course, trusty iPhone in hand...I googled it. And found out that this coming Wednesday is "Ash Wednesday" and the beginning of the Lent season.
Quite honestly, I don't know that much about Lent. I know that it's a time of self sacrifice and it's the 40 days leading to Easter. I know that Protestants don't truly observe Lent, as a Catholic would...but every year as I begin to hear about "Fat Tuesday" and Mardi Gras and the other things leading up to Lent, I always think...what could I give up?
One year, our Pastor asked us to give up something during the season of Lent as part of a churchwide fast of sorts. He actually fasted for the 40 days, while others gave up sugar, coffee, TV and other things that they really enjoyed. I personally gave up TV for the 40 days. And truth be told, it wasn't that difficult.
But I don't really know that I truly embraced the meaning of Lent. Truly the act of abstaining from food or an activity that you enjoy is meant to be replaced with times of more focused prayer, scripture reading and meditation on God's word. I'm pretty sure that instead of filling my evenings with continuous TV watching, I read - and not my Bible. I don't remember spending time meditating on God's word, nor do I remember praying any more than I do normally.
Every year, I think - I really should give something up for Lent. And every year, the 40 days pass, without my observance...and once again, I think "next year".
I'm aiming to turn "next year" into "this year". Lent has snuck up on me, though...but I don't think it's too late. By the end of this week, I am determined to come up with that one thing that I can give up for Lent. Either sugar, TV, desserts, candy...any of those things would be good places to start.
Do you observe Lent? If so, what do you give up?