For me – Lent is. . . (1)
Growing up, Lent was always my least favourite liturgical season. I did not like that I had to give something up for 40 days. What was the point? Plus, Lent, in Canada, happens in the middle of bitterly cold Prairie winters, which just made the whole prospect of abstaining from something mind boggling. But, as I have grown older, I see the value of the Lenten season.
For me, Lent has become a period of self-discovery. Naturally, I know who I am, in what and in whom I believe, but it has allowed me to take a step back and reflect on how I carry myself, how I comport myself with others, and how I want the world to see me.
This self-discovery angle I have given to Lent makes it the perfect place to start looking at my life and seeing what needs to change. In a way, Lent has become almost like a religious New Year’s resolution time for me. It is a time to reassess and let Christ and God into my life to show me what and where I need to change.
In doing so, it helps me to get rid of the unnecessary baggage in my life. I am a millennial and have a bit of a knack for materialism … I know, I know! Even though I do need to minimise the materialism, the unnecessary baggage I am talking about is more the stress and worries that I have in my life.
One could say that these stresses or worries or even temptations are my personal Devil taunting me down a certain path just as the Devil did with Christ during His time in the desert. This time allows for reassessing and bringing things into focus.
Once things are in focus, it helps to show me what really matters. It might help if I do get the glasses for the slight prescription I have, but I think silent reflection and seeking out help in discerning my way forward is the best way to bring things into focus.
One of my most favourite quotations is from The Little Prince. The fox tells the Little Prince that ‘one only sees well with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye’. Taking a step back, reflecting, and searching my heart is what allows me to see what is important and really matters in my life.
The hardest part is making a change or the change that comes out of the reflection. The change that Lent spurs on should not end with the Resurrection and the joy that comes with it. Lent reminds us to be humble and to make sure that we change our lives to be centred on what really matters.
This change can be hard because it could mean leaving behind certain habits that were proving harmful or leaving behind certain people who may not be the healthiest of fit in one’s life. The change is hard, but one must make the change.
Lent is a time to reevaluate one’s life. What comes out of this season ought to stay with us throughout the year and even after the subsequent Lenten seasons.