Many people take part in it every year, and perhaps you are one of them. It is a religious word that has lost its meaning through years of puffery, losing a real opportunity to help people grow in their personhood.
In its simplest terms, Lent is 40 days (excluding Sundays) of reflection, self-denial, and repentance of past actions. It comes to a conclusion on Easter Sunday in a great celebration of the One who came to show us what it means to be human.
Then, when Lent ends, we have been left unchanged and return to old practices and bad habits of insentient social media scrolling, poor eating, no exercise, excessive spending habits, and poor time management to name a few.
Personally, I have given up almost everything at some point during this period of time and was left woefully unchanged.
Here is something to consider: The why you decide to take part in Lent is just as important as the what you are deciding to let go of. This period of time has the potential to be so much more than 40 days of fasting and reflection. It is the opportunity to be the catalyst for a complete shift in how we live our lives.
I believe that Lent can help us discover bad habits, poor choices and how our spending effects the environment we live in and the ones people work in. Lent can be a time to experience how depriving oneself of a certain action can have benefits in the long term for your health, your relationships, and the environment.
For these reasons I am deciding to take a different approach. This year during Lent I will be letting go of purchasing anything extra for 40 days. This will include the simple act of running into a coffee shop for a pastry and cup of coffee and going out to the movies with Rebecca. I believe that I have a great deal to learn about my compulsory spending habits, and that is why I am taking this step that I am calling 40 Days of Letting Go.
Some Reflection Questions:
Are you considering letting go of anything for 40 days?
Why do you want to let it go? Is it a barrier in the way of a relationship or a passion? It is taking up too much of your time?
Will this help you break some bad habits and reset?
What do you think you want to add in its place to help you grow and possibly put in its place after Lent?