Happy Lent!!

Today is Ash Wednesday…The first day of Lent.

Being Catholic, I always get asked, “So…What did ya give up??”

I love the look of shock, awe and”OMG you’re gonna burn!” I get when I answer, “Not a thing!”

Now, I’m not being flip, or blasphemous, or even my sarcastic self when I say this.  It’s just that I look at Lent through a different lens than I used to.  It’s no longer a matter of sacrifice on my part – my giving up something during Lent.

Rather, I look at it as a chance to improve my life, spiritually, by attempting something that is more Christ-like.  So, yes, I guess I “give up” – or try to give up – being my usual sinful human self for as long as I can handle it…Less than a minute on a good day, it seems!

Instead of giving something I like or desire up for 6 weeks, I try to increase my praying, and try to give blessing for those who I feel may have wronged me, and contemplate my daily Bible verses. (By the way,This GREAT Scriptual Writing exercise can be found at iBelieve.com, if you’re interested.  Click on the picture below to download it.)

For example, I attempt to not swear like a sailor on shore leave at the person who cuts me off in traffic as they blindly text their way into my fast-approaching path.

I try to resist the temptation of summoning up the demons of Hades to seek vengence on the idiot who tailgates me on icy roads and then honks at me because I’m going too slowly for their liking.

I even try to smile at the oblivious one who hasn’t noticed that I was in line at the checkout a full 5 minutes before her, as she steps in front of me to pay for her can of Red Bull, carton of generic cigarettes and junk food.

OK…The efforts usually don’t last much longer than 5 minutes past my resolve to be better, but I keep getting back up on that horse and keep trying to ride!

I have to remember that I am a sinner.  I screw up way more than I will ever get it right.  If I didn’t, Christ would never have had to sacrifice Himself on the cross in order for me and the whole world to gain everlasting salvation with Him in Heaven.

He’s only ever asked me to pick up my own cross and follow Him.  So, I really try…every day…knowing I will fail, but also knowing I am forgiven when I sincerely repent of my sins, whatever and how ever many there may be.

Even when I fail and find myself at my worst, I know Jesus loves me and I owe Him my life.  He sees value in my no matter what, and because of this reason, I keep plugging along!

Have a blessed and reflective Lenten Season as we count down to Easter, aka the Christian Super Bowl!!!

God bless you and your families.

 

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