Lent is here. Lent is the six-week season in the Church calendar leading up to the Crucifixion celebrated on Good Friday and the Resurrection of Easter Sunday. The intentional excesses of Mardi Gras now are past for another year. For some, Lent is a dark season, because it is a season of self-denial and preparation.
That may sound dark and dismal, but it really is a season of contrasts. Not everyone fasts from something they like. Personally, if I fast, I try to go without something that takes time from my relationship with God. Distractions. In the past I have gone without certain foods, but one lent I stayed off Facebook, except for my work. Another year I stopped playing solitaire on my phone.
The idea is to replace the distraction with more time engaging God in a new or renewed and meaningful way. To me these changes bring increased light into my life. Reading, prayer, long walks and photography are all meaningful options for me.
This year I am easing into Lent. That may not sound good, but for me, it is. I am learning to live with more grace in my life. I don’t have to do lent at all, but I have found it really does help me understand better why I need a savior and how Jesus is that savior.
Yes I am off sugar, but then that is where I need to be anyway. There are other things I will do without by next week, but I am still listening to discern what if anything I want to add to take me deeper in my walk with God. In my renewed intent to give myself and to receive more grace, I am giving myself another week to figure it out.
I am not “doing Lent” to be religious, but to deepen my relationship with the God who made me and redeemed me. And maybe the grace is the thing I add for the full season….
Have you asked God about Lent for this year? How might He be inviting you to go deeper in relationship with Him?