Are you good at making decisions? Depending on what the decision is, it might take next to no time to decide, or it might take a bit longer, and require a bit more thought. Perhaps one decision that you’ve been considering recently is “what am I going to do for Lent?”
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (6th March), starting six weeks of anticipation and preparation for Easter. Sometimes people choose to give something up for Lent – chocolate, tea or coffee, alcohol, or whatever it might be. Others choose to take something up – reducing consumption of plastic or volunteering somewhere new, making an extra effort to pray or read the Bible. Once again, so many options. Why have people marked Lent in this way for so many generations?
It’s not about making ourselves feel miserable or trying to do Lent “better” than anyone else, but perhaps it’s more about stepping out of normal life for a little while. By giving up something that is part of our everyday or taking up something that might stretch us out of our comfort zone a bit, life is lived differently and we might start to learn more about what our priorities are or what they should be. Perhaps we will have space to consider the difference between what we want and what we need. Maybe it will be something completely different and we will be totally surprised at the journey of Lent this year.
No matter what we decide about how we’re going to mark Lent or where the journey takes us this year, perhaps we could ask God to help us make space for what he has for us this Lent, both as a whole community and as individuals?