Saturday, March 4

Giving it up for Lent


Earlier this week, Nan talked about giving up social media for Lent. That got me thinking. Traditionally, Lent has been a time to give up, for forty days, something that probably isn’t so good for you, or something that’s been weighing you down. According to the website Vox: “Lent…is more about recognizing and embracing one’s mortality, and acknowledging the sinfulness that marks earthly life. Since Christians believe that Jesus’s resurrection foreshadows the resurrection and renewal of the whole world at the end of days, Lent is a time to turn away from sin, mourn death and brokenness, and anticipate a day when the broken world will be healed.”

Most people who adhere to the Lenten sacrifice idea, give up things like cigarettes or chocolate. But for someone like me, who’s more secular, maybe there are some other ideas.

I was listening to the radio on the way home from work and people were coming up with alternative things to do for Lent. I also did a little exploring online for ideas. And although not all of these ideas are about sacrifice, I think most will make you feel a little lighter and maybe a little happier.

If you need to declutter, how about packing a bag every day for forty days with things you can donate? You can use any size bag you want, and at the end of forty days, your house will be free of clutter.

Instead of giving up something, how about committing to something? Listeners suggested committing to going to the gym every day for forty days, or eating vegetables, but you could make a commitment to anything that is meaningful to you. And maybe kind of good for you.

Find an expenditure you can “fast” from during Lent, and then give the money you saved to a charity. Some people went so far as saying only spend money on essentials for forty days.

Take on a project. What about writing forty letters, or performing forty acts of kindness, or making forty phone calls to people you haven’t talked to for a while?

Here’s a great one I found online: Make a commitment to fast from insensitive, cruel comments about others. So, no gossiping.

Volunteer during Lent. Or learn about a social issue that you’re interested in and donate to an organization that works with it.

These are just a few ideas; many more can be found online with a simple search. Full disclosure: I have never given up a vice or anything else for Lent. Even as a child, it wasn’t something my family did. But I have to admit, I’m a little fascinated with the idea. So for the reminder of the Lenten season, I commit to writing something every day.

Are you giving something up for Lent this year? Or are you committing to something?

6 comments:

  1. I didn't do it as a kid, either. I think that's how it became important to me now. Your ideas are all good ones. I gave up anger this year, because it's become such a destructive force (and I allowed it to happen.) So far it's going okay, and I hope by the end of the 40 days I no longer have to work at it.

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    1. Such a good idea to give up anger (wish I'd thought of that one). I hope you have success with that. One that I just thought of now that would be good for me is giving up feeling that my writing will never be good enough. It's a feeling that's only making me feel inadequate. But it's a hard self-judgement to break free from.

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  2. Great ideas, Jana! I've never given up for Lent either, but this year decided to focus on eating right and exercising. I'm going to post my progress next week!

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    1. I'm looking forward to reading your results. It's not easy to change eating patterns, and I know better than anyone how easy it is to make excuses about going to the gym. Good luck, Ava!

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  3. I needed to get something out my life that was not making me happy, but that would be true sacrifice, so that's why I chose leaving social media for Lent. It was something I thought long and hard about, thus the reason I took it off my phone in December--I was trying to make the transition a little easier now. It is harder than I imagined it would be... I think these all sound like great ideas too, Jana.

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    1. Anything that's worthwhile and meaningful is difficult, isn't it? Nan, if you feel leaving social media will make you feel better, I wish you the strength to stick to your resolve. All the best.

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