Tomorrow is the first day of Lent and I am once again finding my soul humbled at the grace of God and my Lord Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I struggle each year with what my personal sacrifice should be, and this year was no different. You see, a Lenten sacrifice isn’t “just” about giving something up, but rather it’s about renewing your relationship with Christ. It’s about reawakening your spiritual connections through sacrifice. (It should be noted that a sacrifice isn’t always giving something up, it can also be taking on a burden.) The idea is that each time you reflect on the sacrifice, you should be using it as a reaffirmation of your spiritual journey.
It’s also not something that you’re meant to go around bragging about. After all, it’s a personal, spiritual connection and you should keep that in mind as much as possible. However, I’ve decided to make note of my sacrifice here so that others might find inspiration for their own Lenten sacrifices. I will work very hard to not talk about my personal sacrifices over the course of Lent – either here on Just Frances or in other aspects of my online and offline worlds. (Though I am but a humble sinner, so I admit I may slip from time to time.)
My sacrifice for the Lenten season is going to be simple eating and abstaining from alcohol.
I’m not going as far as to live on rice and beans for 40 days because my own personal health might suffer from it. Instead, my meals will be basic dishes that meet my nutritional needs, but they won’t be fancy dishes with fancy food. (I recognise that my western idea of basic foods might still be quite fancy to people who struggle to access any food.)
The idea behind this is that I will be reminded of the blessings I have in this world, but also of the struggles others face to meet their nutritional needs daily. By sacrificing a little bit of my own comfort, I hope to be more aware of the sheer lack of comfort others have, and from that, I hope to become more compassionate to those around me. (In addition to further strengthening my relationship with Christ.)
I am also hoping that by the end of Lent I will have a better understanding of how I can actually help those who struggle around me. I realise I am not in a position to help financially, but I will seek out ways that I can help by giving my time and my skills.
As I said earlier, I will try not to talk about my own personal sacrifice during this time, but I may share stories or thoughts on nutrition and hunger over the Lenten season in the hopes of bringing issues of world hunger to the minds of others. (And remember: World hunger is happening within the communities we live in – not just in the developing world!)
For those who participate in the Lenten season, I wish you all of the strength and faith you need to see your way through your personal sacrifice, and I sincerely hope that you come out of it with a stronger and more connected relationship with the Lord.
May God’s blessings be with you all!