Of all the seasons of the church year, Lent is one of the hardest to wrap our heads around – and yet somehow one of the easiest to participate in. Giving something up for Lent is a pretty popular thing to do – often as more of a personal challenge that a spiritual practice.
Giving up chips or chocolate during Lent isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it only scratches the surface of a season with much more potential for meaningful growth and change in our lives.
Lent offers an opportunity to re-evaluate or begin to develop a daily spiritual practice. No matter what age you are, finding new ways to grow closer to God is an important part of a life of faith, and this is a time to be intentional about that.
Often, this does start with giving something up to create space for something new. Maybe it is still giving up chips so that you have space to be more attentive to the food you eat and to give thanks for good harvests and for the hands that made it possible for you to enjoy a healthy meal, or not using your cell phone for the first hour of the day and spending time in prayer during that hour instead. Whatever that looks like for you, whether it’s finding new or old or deeper ways to connect with God in preparation for Easter will help us to find more meaning in that celebration.
As you are reading this, Lent may have already begun, but the good news is it is never too late to start this journey. A good place to start is by taking some time for prayer, and by talking to your priest or your youth leader or your kids or your parents or other people from your church. Share some ideas about how to create some space this season to journey with God, and then how to continue on after Easter. However you decide to mark this time, may this holy season be one of growth, exploration, and blessing.