7 ways to take a new look at Lent
By Sheri Wohlfert
Lent is the season that helps us focus on growing in holiness, but we tend to look at Lent through the lens of deprivation, restriction, and sacrifice. I’m going to suggest today that we flip that right over and take a new look. If we see and live Lent differently, so will our students. I’d like to share a few little tidbits that just might help make your lent a happy and holy one!
… return to me with all your heart. (Joel 2:12)
*Lent is completely about Jesus and drawing close to him, so if you want to “give something up,” then make it something you don’t want to “pick back up” when Lent is over. We need to give up those things that take our focus off him, so if they are coming between us now, they will probably come between us later.Why not ditch ‘em?
*Lent should always include more still quiet prayer but to that add some extended learning and share the good news of Jesus with three people a week in some way. It could be an act of service, a positive message, or a simple “I prayed for you today.” Don’t keep Jesus to yourself … share him.
*If you want to re-focus on Jesus, walk around for a day (or an hour) with a popcorn kernel in your shoe. Every time it pokes your foot, say, “Thank you, Jesus, for making me think of you; please bless_________.”
*Don’t complain, argue, or whine for a week (or a day) (or an hour): pick the one that fits. Those three behaviors are the greatest form of selfishness. Give up having your own way, the last word, and the attention.
*It’s more about giving up sin and temptations that lead us to sin than giving up chocolate!
*Think of Lent as the buildup … the anticipation … the warm-up for the greatest crescendo of our faith … the Resurrection. The more we prepare, practice, and ready ourselves for the amazing event, the more exciting, rewarding, and awesome Easter will be.
*How much time do you spend preparing for Christmas or a wedding or a graduation? There is planning, organizing, shopping, decorating, and new stuff involved. Now … how do we prepare for Easter? It’s the holiest day of the year and sometimes all we do is buy plastic grass and dye eggs. Using Lent as a preparation time is more powerful if we give some serious thought to what we’re preparing for … celebrate it like it’s a big deal … because it is!!!
We can’t waste Lent … not one day of it. Everything you do should be for one purpose … to draw you closer to Jesus. He wants us to return to him with our whole hearts, so do everything this Lent out of love for the one who loves you more than you can imagine.
A Seed To Plant: Whatever you’re planning to do during this Lenten season, pick one new thing that has never been a part of your Lenten observances before. Check out some online resources; there are hundreds of ideas out there to help make your Lent wonderful.
Blessings on your day … and Happy Lent!
Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker, and teacher who writes from Michigan. She uses her sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.
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