Happy Ash Wednesday (not sure if this is a thing since Ash Wednesday is actually a sombre day but whatever). For those who don’t know Ash Wednesday marks (pun intended) the beginning of the season of Lent which is a 40 day period of repentance, self-examination and denial, in preparation for the season of Easter. While lent is mostly practised by Catholics, it is not strictly for Catholics. A few years ago, I decided to start observing lent as a Spiritual discipline and a time to just detach and reconnect to the main things.
Every year since I have seen how important it is for me to unplug and intentionally exercise self-denial especially in a culture that is all about self-gratification. It is a time for me to intentionally examine myself and what is getting in the way of the kind of relationship I desire to have with my Heavenly Father.
I don’t have super deep theological reasons for it except it helps me really refocus my heart back to the important things as well as actively repenting of my many sins. In our church, we have Holy Communion every week, and every single week we have a period of being reminded of why we come to the Lord’s table and then we are given some minutes of silence and reflection before we partake in the Holy Communion. I look at lent as a longer period of silence and reflection like the one we have every Sunday, a 40-day long intermission to truly reflect on what Jesus accomplished.
Lastly, I use lent as a time for picking up disciplines that will help me become the kind of Christian I desire to be, I not only drop a habit but I also pick up a new habit.
This year, some of the things I am giving up are Social Media, unhealthy eating habits among other things, and replacing them with reading more of the Bible and good books and spending more time in prayer.
Do you practice Lent? If you do what are you giving up this year?