Growing up and not celebrating Lent I had the impression it was a time where Catholics gave up meat or sweets. They could live like the world every other time of the year, but for Lent they had to “give up” something. It was just about the “giving up.”
The more I’ve grown in disciplines like fasting the more I realize the misconceptions I carried about this season. Fasting is not just about “giving up” food. Lent is not just about “giving up” something.
It is about “clearing the decks” of our minds and hearts so we can hear once again the voice of our Savior just a bit more clearly. Lent is not about sacrifice for the sake of being dour. It is a call to help our hearts to tune in once again. Just take a break! Breathe!
In the “giving up” we need to realize the reward of those choices. We give up to once again turn our hearts more clearly toward the Lord. Look fully in his face. Hear his voice once again. It’s a time to reset the compass. That isn’t a dour exercise. It leads us to joy.