What is Lent?
Lent is a time for those of Christian belief to prepare for Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter Sunday. The purpose of lent is to set aside some time for religious reflection. Time to think about Jesus’ suffering, his sacrifice, his life, his death, his burial and of course his resurrection. Many people do this through fasting, repentance, abstaining from things, and through spiritual discipline. Although depriving yourself of the things you love isn’t the only way to observe lent. You don’t have to suffer yourself in order to experience religious reflection.
For many people, even those that don’t attend church on a regular basis, or even at all, lent is still a wonderful time to reflect on life and what we want our lives to be like and mean.
How I plan to celebrate lent? With inspiration. I am going to post via Facebook and Twitter a daily inspirational quote. Something that means something to me or has touched my heart. Maybe I can touch someone else’s heart too. Then at the end of lent I will post all of the daily quotes here on my blog for everyone to see.
Here are a just a few ways you can celebrate the season of lent, and it doesn’t matter if you are religious or just seeking to reflect on the meaning of life in general.
- Write a letter (not email – a real letter with paper and pen) to a different person in your life, each day during lent, and tell them what they mean to you and how they have been a blessing in your life.
- Parents, write in a journal, one for each of your children, each day. Use the journal to tell your kids what they mean to you, how they encourage and inspire you, and all the ways they improve your life. On Easter give the completed journal to your kids to treasure.
- Add more prayer to your life.
- Give… each day or once a week find someone in need and share what you have in an effort to help improve their life.
- Listen more… devote a portion of your day to just listening to others around you; your spouse, your child(ren), your parents, your siblings, etc.
- Focus on your body… devote time each day to exercise, meditate, relax…
If you are one of those people who wants to experience suffering, by giving up something you hold dear, here are a few suggestions:
- Give up your bed for lent and sleep on the couch or even the floor.
- Give up your pillow, if the bed is not an option.
- Fasting, eating only one meal a day.
- Give up all drinks except water.
- Have a sweet tooth? Give up candy, cakes, ice cream… whatever your taste buds desire.
There are so many ways to celebrate Lent. What will you do?