Ash Wednesday. It marks the first day of the lenten season as a means to help the post-modern, post-enlightenment, post-colonial human engage the mourning, suffering, celebration, and hope embodied in the person of Jesus Christ.
“What are you taking on this lenten season?” – a question I began to ask after reading a Twitter post by my friend Matt Frye. He posted, “What 40 day change are you making in your life for this lent season? I’m taking on 40 days of journaling. Something that I need desperately.”
What are you taking on?
Lent has historically and culturally been defined by a person electing to sacrifice or give up some item or substance or external material or non-material product or influence. I value that aspect of Lent but understand it’s limitedness. The act of giving up something may be considered disciplined and necessary to produce a sense of shared suffering and solidarity; however, the completeness of sacrifice is understanding that which fills the places that are empty due to sacrifice.
Matt stated that he is taking on the act of journaling for 40 days. For some, the time spent writing and reflecting could be something that fills a perceived void created by giving up television watching or a Facebook addiction. I have been considering giving up the consumption of meat for the next 40 days. By default, my body would need to be filled by nutritious foods high in protein such as lentils. Rather than sacrificing the consumption of meat I may need to consider taking on a vegetarian diet and committing to growing life giving plants – as an act of discipline and as an act of worship – taking care of this body as a unique approach to environmental sustainability.
What are you taking on? Share your ideas in the comment section below.
Peace be with you.