Doing Lent

“What are you doing for Lent?”,  someone asked me the other day.  I replied, “Nothing”. I tried for several years to “do” something for Lent.

Some years I tried giving something up. We give up something as an act of solidarity, as an act that remembers Jesus’s suffering. But, honestly, giving up chocolate or candy or coffee really doesn’t compare to what Jesus did. I felt like I was trivializing Jesus’s passion. If you find giving something up for Lent a helpful spiritual practice, don’t let me dissuade you. I just didn’t find it helpful for me.

Some folks I know add something for Lent. Extra prayers, extra giving. I could never make it all the way through Lent- and really it’s just 40 days. If I’m honest, I’m probably just lazy. Or lacking in self discipline.

Some people use Lent as a time of self improvement. They go to the gym regularly. Stop smoking. Eat healthier. For me that just made Lent a “do over” for New Year’s resolutions.

As I said before, if you find any of these practices helpful- don’t listen to me. Keep doing what you find helpful.

As we spoke about Lent, we wondered. Instead of doing something for Lent, what if we let Lent do something to us?  What might that look like? What if instead of doing, I was to receive?

I’m not exactly sure what that looks like. Letting Lent do something to me. But the idea seems right. Our salvation and our faith are not something we “do”. They are things we receive.

So I am wondering what letting Lent do something to or for me might look like? I don’t know.  What might happen if I walk through the rest of Lent with eyes and heart open to receive? Will Lent do something to me?

I wonder. . .

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