Some people choose Words or Themes for their new year... and I always struggle with that. I can never seem to stumble on the THING for my year and I wonder how people do.
But Lent? Lent seems to find me.
Lent is generally new to me... The churches I've attended have been more non-denominational and have never really put much emphasis on it. It's only been through association with others in my adult life that I've been more exposed to the idea of it... and I like it.
A few years ago, I stumbled across an article that spoke to me. I wouldn't be able to find it now but it talked about giving up actions and attitudes as opposed to things. I've always liked that. I don't wish to criticize how anyone else does Lent... That's yours. But there is something I like about giving up an action that is different from merely depriving myself of something I like. Like it's more than a 6 Week Detox Diet.
I usually set out to find something that's right for that year. I begin thinking about chocolate or coffee or wine... and then think more about what attitudes I need to change in myself. This year, I started with complaining... but deep down, I knew that really wasn't somewhere that I needed to fix. Not that I never complain, but I'm far too optimistic for that to be my worst problem. Not killing people who do complain all the time, maybe, but...
And then, BAM.... *inserts heavenly angel music*.... it just comes.
You guys, I spend a stupid amount of time, energy, and emotion worrying about what other people think. Worse, I spend a stupid amount of time, energy, and emotion worrying about what other people who I don't even like think.
Quite honestly, I'm sick of it. I'm sick of myself doing that.
So, Lent? You and me, we're going to spend six weeks actively being ourselves without apology. We're going to spend six weeks actively not letting ourselves worry about what people think of us. We're going to spend six weeks just freaking relaxing about everything a bit.
And when Lent is over, oh boy do I hope it's a new thing that sticks around. This is not 6 Week Detox Diet that we stop doing just because Lent is over. I want this to stick around. I want Lent to change me.
I think maybe that's what it's really for.