No!! Lent is not all about giving things up. It’s also about adding good things to our lives or to others’ lives – the kind of good things that follow on what Jesus asks of us, especially things that relate to what we are giving up. Try these:
- Reconcile yourself to someone you don’t like, or even hate, or did something bad to, or just intentionally stayed away from.
- Do acts of kindness for people, just because the opportunity is there; give them little tastes of God’s love.
- If you haven’t taken time lately to be in a refreshing, natural spot, do so. I love to enjoy the countryside and the opportunity for some peace and rest. Even if it is a brief stay – even a half-hour or so – try it.
- Take some time to study the causes of poverty. Follow the threads as far as you can. Not only does it help you to serve Christ better, but you also add into yourself a useful education in economics, sociology and biology.
- Study, meditate and pray over one or two Bible passages for each day, through a daily lectionary (assigned Bible readings for each day).
- Choose something ordinary that you do every day, and think about God each time you do it. Or think of a place you come to regularly, and each time you are there think where Christ might be in that place, and what Christ might do there, or what you might be led to do for Christ.
Don’t beat yourself up about Lent – enrich your life, and others’.