I love Lent. As the QBI, I always am looking for something to over commit to, over think, over something.
Lent is perfect for this.
I used to give up french fries. That's right. Fries. I love french fries like nothing else. So, I would give them up for Lent. Then I got older than 20.
In my mid-twenties, I was not a big "church goer". I went when I was at home with my parents. I went with my girlfriend Karrie Parla during Lent when I lived in St. Louis.
She was a fellow catholic and we bonded over Palm Sunday. I lived across the street from a church and occassionally would go, but usually just went to brunch at the art museum.
Then, I got pregnant. Life changed. I was now responsible for a soul other than mine. I found a church, got involved and that was that. Back in the saddle. Or pew.
My parents are divorced and of two different denominations. So, Catholic one week and Church of Christ the next was my childhood. I have sat through what feels like millions of sermons, homilies, Bible studies, youth rallies, prayer meetings, etc. to have a general idea of what I am supposed to do.
The biggest impact anyone has ever had on me, and my philosophy of Lent was an older priest who guest spoke at my church about 8 years ago. It was either during or just before Lent. His message was basically this. "Giving up a luxury during Lent is wrong. Going to church is not going to get you into Heaven. DO SOMETHING!"
It hit me like a ton of bricks. DO SOMETHING. God put us here to live our lives. To love others and to DO SOMETHING. Not just focus on saving our own souls (although we do need to focus on that too) but to do something to make a difference to someone else. After all, Christ was in the desert praying for strength to do something epic for others. Sacrificing himself, his comfort and his life for the human race. He wasn't fasting to lose a few pounds or make a good impression on his friends with his "sacrifice".
So, this Lenten season, I challenge everyone including myself to
instead of giving up something. Make it matter.