On February 22, people all over the world took the pledge to abstain themselves from one particular thing in their life for a period of 40 days, from Ash Wednesday (Feb 22) to Resurrection Sunday (April 5). The reason behind this sacrifice? Lent. For those of you who don’t know exactly why this event transpires, it is because of this: In the Bible (Matt 4:1-2), Jesus goes through a period of time in which he goes into the desert to fast for a period of 40 days. This is where we get the original idea for abstaining from a particular thing for 40 days (duh). Originally, the idea behind this “holiday” was to sacrifice something important in your life to ready yourself for the coming Easter, which is the time of the year that we remember when Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for you when He died on that cross those many years ago.
People today usually give up physical pleasures that they cling to such as chocolate, swearing, chewing gum, coffee, or even sex. Lent-ers see the 40 day period as a chance to better themselves as people. It’s a time to reflect on what your life looks like, and what it can stand to lose. For me? It’s a time to become more accountable on how I act and how I can better myself, which is always a struggle.
I am a Christian. I believe that Christ came down in human form as a baby, lived a sinless life, took my sins upon his perfect self, and died on a cross for me so that I could have the chance to be with him someday. This is what I believe. When I heard about Lent and that a lot of my friends (most of them unbelieving) celebrated it, I became excited. I see it as a chance for them to be able to keep me accountable on certain things that I have been struggling with personally, which has to deal with what I am giving up for Lent.
This year for Lent, I am giving up being critical of other people. That last sentence sure makes me sound shallow, huh? Well its definitely something that I struggle with. At the school that I go to, I’m seen as the funny guy. Always telling jokes, and because of this expectation, its important for me to be able to have some kind of material to make jokes out of…and what’s the best kind of joke material? Other people. I’ve noticed that I make fun of other people much too often, so this is perfect timing that a holiday where other people can keep you accountable on something has come.
I hope to be able to keep my “Lent Pledge” for the 40 days….and hopefully even after the Lent period is over. It’s a difficult task, but in the end, its definitely worth it. Because who am I to make fun other people? Its wrong and there is no justification for it.
So now that Lent has already started…what have you given up?