Indulge for Lent?2
It's a common question every year at about this time. I even remember hearing it when I was a child and, I suppose because I wasn’t Catholic, I didn’t understand what it meant. The question: What are you giving up for Lent?
These days, some common answers are: Chocolate, red meat, Facebook and watching TV. Making a decision to cut out these non-essentials is admirable, but alone, giving up chocolate probably doesn't get to the heart of Lent.
So, here is another idea for Lent that I recently read about. Rather than sacrificing something for Lent — especially something easy and spiritually insignificant, such as chocolate — Patty Kirk, in Guideposts magazine, suggests finding new ways to indulge in God’s presence. Surely, one can do this by having extra devotions or attending special midweek Lenten worship services. But Kirk offers these additional ideas, too:
• Spend time outdoors, sensing God’s magnificence.
• Extend generosity and compassion. Remember Jesus’ promise that when you care for others, you care for him (Matthew 25:31-46).
• Pray for the “little things,” coming before God in childlike trust and feeling peace.
• Watch attentively for God’s answers to prayer, and receive them as reminders of his presence.
• Turn anxiety into prayer. As you frame concerns as prayers and entrust them to God, you “sacrifice” the tendency to wallow in worry.
So, go ahead. Indulge!