People celebrate Lent in various ways, while others don’t celebrate it at all. That is up to individual beliefs and disciplines. If you celebrate Lent, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.
My thoughts have changed over the years. They started out to be a time that was difficult and a time that came drudgingly. It was like, “Ugh. Lent is here again. I have to give up something.” It felt like a punishment. It felt like I was grounded and something I enjoyed was taken away from me for these 40 days.
Now, I have a different feeling towards Lent. It is a time of encouragement. It is a time of struggle in hopes of a grand renewal at the end.
This may seem confusing. How can Lent go from a time of punishment in my eyes to a time of encouragement? Well, part of it is that my level of maturity and my level of understanding have changed. Also, I believe that Lent isn’t just about “giving up something.” It could be about adding something as well. It isn’t meant to punish, but to help one grow- emotionally, physically, intellectually, educationally, and spiritually.
I don’t know about you, but if I know I “only have to be good” or “only have to try” for 40 days, it isn’t as overwhelming as thinking, “I am going to change this whole thing about me forever- no looking back.” I think the hope is that if one is successful in the 40 days, then it will be a new habit and part of a healthier life.
I also think I try harder during Lent than I would during other parts of the year. I know that other people are “trying” too. I know that I am not alone in it. Also, I feel that if Jesus has done so much for me, the least I can do is to try to better myself in these short 40 days.
For all of you who are celebrating Lent, I wish you well with your sacrifices, new habits, trials, and struggles. I hope you get that prize of renewal and new hope at the end. God bless.