I can’t be the only person when someone first told me he was giving up something for Lent, I thought, “Lint! What a bum deal! I wouldn’t trade anything for those annoying white balls in the pockets of my jeans!”
If you are chuckling, you may have grown up like me. It wasn’t until I was in college that I learned Lent wasn’t lint, something caught in a dryer trap, or something you did when your neighbor wanted to borrow a hammer. (Lent is the southern pronunciation of lend for those of you north of the Mason Dixon.)
I soon learned that Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter. (Sundays are not included in the count.)
Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ, His suffering and His sacrifice, His life, death, burial, and resurrection.
Now I am certainly not theologically seasoned enough to know everything the Bible says about this season, if it says anything at all. However, I do know that we live in a time in our lives in which we are constantly connected to our screens, inundated with choices, and generally have the attention span of a flea. I can’t think of one good reason in which it would be a bad thing to take some things off our plate in order to focus more on Christ.
If you are not familiar with Lent, I would encourage you to look into it this Easter season. I know for me it has become a great time to look at some of the things in my life that I could use a break from for a season. I would also encourage you to join Save a Drink, Save a Life, Blood:Water’s Lent campaign were we give up our favorite drink f0r 40 days and donate what we save to bring clean water access to Africa. This year, we are specifically helping three villages in southern Rwanda. Get started at saveadrink.org.
And let me know if you have a secret for getting rid of lint; I’ve got a pocketful I’d love to get rid of for a few months.