Giving It Up for Lent*

I came across a few new suggestions for Lent this year:

  • giving up texting (which wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice for those who seldom or never text!)
  • giving up salt and pepper (a much bigger sacrifice for most of us, I would think)
  • doing an extra 20 push ups a day and offering them up as a prayer for people in need (but of course, don’t try this if your health doesn’t allow for it).

The purpose of such practices is not to punish ourselves, but to serve as reminders of Jesus’ suffering and to help us live in expectation of Easter.

For some, adding something for Lent can be just as effective, so this year I decided to add a daily walk to the mailroom in our townhouse complex. I try to walk regularly for exercise anyway, but the mailroom is so close I most often don’t stop there, and it can be a week or more before we pick up our mail, which means our mailbox is usually crammed full and snail mail is even more snail than it needs to be.

So my Lenten practice this year is partly practical, but it’s also more than that. The minute-and-a-half walk to the mailroom isn’t long–it takes me almost that amount of time to find my keys, get my coat, put on my shoes, and get out the door–but the simple act of interrupting whatever else I’m doing to make that walk is my reminder: Easter is coming! The neighbours I meet along the way and stop to chat with are precious to God. The new shoots of crocuses and the buds on the trees remind me there is new life in Christ. Easter is coming!

Are you giving up something for Lent, or adding a new practice? Please feel free to add a comment (just click on “comments” under the title of this blog post). Let’s encourage one another and help keep each other accountable.

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*”Give it up for” – slang meaning “to applaud” “to clap” – a physical way of recognizing or welcoming someone or something
“Give it up for” – “to sacrifice one thing for something else”
So “giving it up for Lent” has a double meaning: to recognize Lent and also to abstain from something for Lent