Thursday, February 23, 2012
Lent...a Time of Improvement
As a kid I usually gave up coke for lent. That was something my mother gave up so I gave it up too. I liked it a lot and it was a big offering for me. Back then though I did not quite get the idea of "offering" and giving up something to improve myself.
In college I started giving up dessert every year. That was a tough lent each time. I have a major sweet tooth. I did not do the Sunday exception either so I went more than 40 days without it. It was very good for my self control but as soon as lent was over I went back to eating lots and lots of dessert. Now looking back with my 20/20 hindsight vision I think maybe setting myself to limits for my self change during lent my have led me to better habits all year long such as dessert only on weekends or only after dinner.
There are many people who give something up or fast as a form of prayer to God which I think can be wonderful so long as you are taking care of yourself (what I consider a very important gift!) and remaining healthy. If you are in this category hopefully you pick something that helps you improve yourself in some way to love yourself better and to become closer to God because of it.
My category this lent is choosing a behavior to change to improve myself and create a better habit for the rest of the year. In moments of frustration we may say something or act in a way we regret. I know I do this. My goal is to respond with positive behavior instead of negative behavior during moments of frustration. I'm focusing on stopping myself, taking a deep breath, and thinking about the most successful response would be for all involved. If I am to be an example of Christ to my family then this is something I need to work towards.
You do not have to be any type of religious to participate in lent. To some people it can be a time to examine themselves and find an area of improvement, come up with an attainable goal (does not have to be huge. Set yourself up for success), and execute the plan.
What are you doing for lent? Please share your ideas.