3 LENT SUGGESTIONS THAT WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.
A few years ago I wrote an article expressing my disagreement with the ritual called “Lent”. As someone who was raised Catholic this ritual was something that was forced on me and as I got older I felt like it was unnecessary and full of man-made attempts to please God. Read the article “Lent – A Ritual Worth Giving Up”.
I feel the same way today, but I do understand that for many, this is important and many people sincerely use this time to make sacrifices in their attempt to “please” God or feel better about themselves. With that in mind, I’d like to suggest a few options:
EAT MEAT EVERY FRIDAY
One of the main traditions and “rules” of Lent is to not eat meat on Fridays. There are a variety of explanations for this but nothing real solid that I could find. So why not just eat the meat on Fridays and do something more meaningful each Friday that you CAN explain.
For example, make it a rule to volunteer at a shelter or dog rescue each Friday. Or make it a point to purchase an awesome meal each Friday for a homeless person or family in need. And yes, make sure that meal has lots of meat in it, cause meat is soooo good.
Whatever you choose to do, do it because it has meaning and do it with all of your heart. You’ll feel much better at the end of the day. God isn’t going to strike you down because you eat meat on Fridays in exchange for doing something much more lasting.
GIVE UP FOR GOOD, NOT JUST FOR SEVERAL WEEKS
I remember racking my brain as a kid, trying to figure out what to “fast” during lent. Some of my family would give up beer, some chocolate, others would give up smoking, etc. The strength to to give up these and many other “vices” by participants in this ritual is fueled by the fact that they will soon have a taste for them once again in just a few weeks. Many family members who gave up drinking would be the ones who got the most drunk at the Easter BBQs. Very funny to say the least.
If you’re going to “give up” something, why not do it for the long run. For example, if you’re giving up smoking for Lent because you know it’s not good for you, why just give it up for a few weeks? Why not forever, especially if it’s an addiction? If you’re cutting down on eating because you feel you’re overweight, don’t just cut down for lent, make a lifestyle change that lasts forever.
CHANGE THE WORLD AROUND YOU
As I stated in my first suggestion, Eat Meat on Fridays, these next few weeks would be much more rewarding if participants changed focus off of themselves and put it on others. Look for needs around you, at work, at school, within your family, in your cycling groups, at your local bar, at your church, etc.
Don’t just give up something for the sake of giving it up. If we should give up anything it should be selfishness and the best way to do that is to focus our attention on others. Wake your neighbors up to the sound of you cutting their lawn one morning and when they ask why, you tell them because you can. haha.
The elderly lady who lives down the road from you has a house that needs work. Gather some friends one weekend and offer to make those repairs at no charge.
Rescue and foster a dog. There are so many strays in the city and all you have to do is drive around for a while and you’ll find one. Take him/her in and nurture them as you work to find them a permanent home. Maybe you’re their new home. Who knows?
Whatever you end up doing, do it because it impacts the world in a better way. Do it because it makes someone smile or happy. Do it with love and do it just because.