Today Christians all over the world mark the start of the Lenten season, Ash Wednesday. Lent is a reminder of the forty days that Christ spent in the desert, facing temptation from the devil all while having nothing to eat or drink. Usually for Lent we give something up, such as television, sweets, internet, our morning cup of coffee, etc. as Christ had given up food and water. During Lent we stay away from these things which draw us away from God. But this Lent, could we maybe change how we use them?
This Lent, change the channel. Stay away from Hallmark, Nickelodeon, ESPN, or whatever. Instead, watch something beneficial, preferably religious such as EWTN, Familyland, or the Gospel Music Channel. See what changes it makes in your life.
Save your money. Then give it away. What do you pay for a cup of coffee? Probably around two bucks a day if you buy it at Starbucks. Save that money, and stick it in a jar. Have some loose change when the day ends? Throw it in the jar. Instead of going out to eat, cook at home and put what you saved in the jar. Try to cut back costs whenever possible, and put the money you saved in the jar. At the end of the Lenten season (or when the jar gets full) go donate it to the food pantry or put in the collection at Church. You’ll learn some great money-saving tips as well as being able to help out the community.
And remember, for Lent you don’t have to give something up. You can take something on. For example, this year I’ve also decided to do my best to spend at least five minutes in prayer to God. If you don’t already do this, take it on! Thank God for your friends and family, thank Him for giving you another day to live, thank Him if you have a job, ask Him for help if you don’t, ask Him for the grace you need to do His Will. Thank God for everything you have, and ask for His help. Surely offering up those five minutes of your time to Him will help you grow closer to Him and grow in your faith as well.
Dedicate yourself to praying everyday from now on, dedicate yourself to spending more time helping out in your Church, or your local soup kitchen. Visit the imprisoned, visit the sick. Spend less time on the computer, and spend some time with your family. Turn off the television and take some time to pray with your family. Take a lesson from the Phoenix and rise up from the ashes as a new person. One dedicated to loving and serving God.