Hello everyone. Today is Ash Wednesday. It is an important day for some, being the first day of Lent. It always interests me how some people dread Lent and some look forward to it.
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.
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