Monday, February 20, 2012

Lent ... I dare you.

It's that time of year and for once in my life I'm going to to do it.

Growing up Lent was something that those people who couldn't have hamburgers on Fridays did and it wasn't something that was given much thought.  In college I was always amazed at how determined my best friend was to persevere in her goals every spring and let's face it, not being the role model for discipline in college I was amazed by anyone who was.

I've done a lot of growing up since then and this year I'm determined to discipline myself and I encourage you to do it to.  Perhaps you're not Catholic, perhaps you're not even Christian, perhaps you think all of us religious types are a basket short of picnic, but no matter "what" you are ... I dare you.

I dare you, starting this Wednesday and until April 7th, to give something up.  Go without and see what happens.  Don't give up something easy either, give up something that finds its way into your everyday life.

This year I'm giving up Soda, cold turkey.  I hate that I love it so and I really want it out of my life and so on Wednesday I will give up my favorite beverage.  I will try to discipline my mind and body as I strive for something better; a better version of myself.  The self that could be possible with just a little discipline.

If you want to take it a step further consider the 3 focuses of Lent and do something to fill each one.  Fasting, Prayer and Charity.  The NC Register has a great list, for anyone really not just Catholic, to consider working into your life for Lenten season.

I've already mentioned that I'm going to give up soda, that's my fasting.  I've not decided what my charity will be and when I decide it will be something I keep to myself.  I've already decided what my Lenten form of prayer will be, but it's something I'm so excited about it needs it's own post.  Please join me again tomorrow for a little bit more.

Are you going to celebrate Lent this year?  If so, how are you going to make it meaningful for you?

3 comments:

  1. A perfectly timed reminder! I had no idea Ash Wednesday was coming up so quickly. I am definitely going to do this... will spend tonight & tomorrow thinking about what, specifically.

    It's so much easier to give something up - making a good change in our lives, when it's done in devotion to Him.

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  2. I think that Lent is a hard one for us non-Christians, as many religious folks who give things up do so in a showy way. I think that doing something every day, not just for a short period of time, is the real challenge, not an artificially imposed deadline.

    What's especially off-putting is when Catholics in Milwaukee try to get the local branch of the Catholic church to make an exception for the Brewers opening day festivities so that they can have brats and burgers.

    That said, I have a different perspective as I grew up as a very liberal Lutheran, and giving things up for Lent wasn't a "thing."

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  3. Jodi - It is a hard one, I didn't grow up with Lent as a thing either, but I love the challenge and the share sacrifice of it. One of the biggest misunderstandings is that we're supposed give something up or only give to charities during this short period of time, but that's actually wrong. Part of the challenge of Lent is to improve yourself past Easter as well - donate more to charity during Lent and by Easter it will be easier to give freely (which you should continue to do), give up those sugary treats or bad for you foods for a month and by East it will be easier to go without them on a day to day basis.

    I know alot of people say, "Well I could just do this in my own good time" but usually those people are the first to say and keep saying "not till next week" or "maybe I start donating more after my next raise". It's about not leaving room for the excuses as much as anything.

    That being said I know it's rough time on non-Catholic, because so many people do get very in your face or showy about it (like that milwaukians), but it comes back to those of us who are trying not be like that in the form of a lot of anti-Catholic and anti-Christian sentiment. I never have to hear more anti-Catholic dogerel at work that during Lent, but I try to let it roll off my back as much as I can and grow from it all.

    Thanks for the chance to expand on the subject!

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