It is now the Lenten season. As a Christian I observe this next 7 weeks (40 days) as a time of reflection and preparation for Easter. The tradition is for fasting, prayer and alms giving. Part of the tradition for Lent is to “give up” something. The idea is that we should give up an item or a practice that distracts or separates us from God. Children often give up some candy or other food. Adults also give up foods. Although that can help us focus on being in solidarity with those less fortunate it should be something that will actually make a difference. For instance, if you are allergic to chocolate and never eat it for fear of having to use the epi-pen, then setting your Lenten fast as giving up chocolate is not really a fast! Like wise if you decide to give up, say, dairy and the result is putting yourself into a state of malnutrition, dangerous weight loss, or fostering unhealthy eating habits then it is counterproductive! Many people have outgrown the “giving up food” for Lent path. Instead they vow to give up a variety of things including:
Breaking the speed limit
Hot showers (obviously not from these parts!)
Well, you get the idea. Another option to giving up is to add activities:
Smile and say hello to at least one stranger a day
Read the Bible daily
Perform one random act of kindness every opportunity
Pay for someone’s meal
Visit a nursing home
Shovel the snow for a neighbor
I am doing a daily devotional with my husband. We have sworn off buffet restaurants. We are fasting from meat on Fridays. I’m purging my closets and drawers (this is really a hard thing to do). And I’m giving up a game I play on my phone called Wordscapes which I find highly addictive. We also are providing non-perishable items for the food bank weekly and putting all our loose change into the “rice bowl” to benefit missions in Asia.
How are you preparing for Easter??