“There’s something about it that makes sense, Lent. You give something up, and everything’s more joyful.” ~ Elaine Stritch
To our human nature, it seems counter-intuitive that giving something up can make us joyful and bring us even more. How can giving things up or away gain us more? It just doesn’t sound possible. However, that is the whole dynamic of stewardship: the more we give, the more we get.
Lent does make sense. It is a season that challenges us to give up: externally and internally. We not only are called to give up some of our favorite things in order to mortify ourselves. We are called, as well, to give up attitudes that may be counterproductive to our faith and practices that might be holding us back from a closer relationship to God.
Giving those things up may be painful. They may force us to look deeper within ourselves than we may want. They may cause us to consider that we are/were the ones at fault rather than someone else. They may prompt us to seek forgiveness and reconciliation not only with God, but, with others.
Yes, giving those things up may be painful. However, the process brings us something incredible: peace and joy. When we seek forgiveness, we we rid ourselves of the things that keep us from God and when we become honest with ourselves, we let God into our lives in a more complete way. Doing so is a good thing. Letting God in can never be bad.
Has your resolve to maintain the disciple of Lent waned somewhat since we began a week and a half ago? This might be the time to give yourself the pep talk. Lent is not bad. Lent is good. Lent makes sense. Lent can bring us incredible peace and joy.
FAITH ACTION: Renew your resolve to hold to the discipline of Lent. If you feel the need, consider going to confession to begin anew.