“We tend to think of Lent as a time of sorrow and repentance and grief, and that is one of its core ideas. But we don’t grieve in order to heighten our capacity to grieve or repent so we can focus on our ability to repent. If Lent has its proper impact, it will form us spiritually — and to be formed spiritually is to grow in love of God and love of others.”
I love challenges. I also love celebrating things. So of course I love celebrating challenges. For me this is one reason why I participate in and celebrate Lent.
The other reason is because I love the lead up to Resurrection Day!!
Two years ago I became a Vegan for Lent and it changed how I view animals, compassionate living, and my beliefs about Christian stewardship. Last year I took up Hot Yoga for Lent and it has brought me joy and given me a practice that allows me to center myself on God and on sharing compassion and love with my neighbors. Each time I’ve celebrated, I have either added something to my life or given up something I struggle with and been surprised by the way that it is able to increase my love for the Divine, kindness towards myself, and compassion for others.
This year I’m trying to give up some things and take on some things in an effort to celebrate in both ways.
1. Read the Bible in its entirety in 40 days (Join me? http://margaretfeinberg.com)
2. Daily Meditation including setting intention each day
3. Putting my Complaint Free Bracelet (Get one? http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/) back on and re-instituting this practice
4. Giving up swearing
For those of you who can’t see it, each of these things has an element of sacrifice including significant re-prioritization of my time, loss of camaraderie that comes with complaining and gossiping, and the pleasure I feel when I swear either verbally or in writing.
To track this I’ve downloaded an app on my iPhone. Each of the above elements have been given a monetary value and at the end of Lent I will be cutting a check (Uh…by check I mean…getting them some money because I don’t know where my checkbook is) to Bridgetown. They will get $ as a blessing for each of the times I properly do #1 and #2 and $ each time I blow it for #3 and #4. This could be a sizable donation given my potty mouth!
I look forward to walking through the Lenten season with my friends and readers.