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Another Way of Looking at Lent

To many, the Lenten season is a meaningless time of self-deprivation. Giving things up that we like is often associated with Lent. May I suggest a more meaningful way of observing this tradition? Something everyone can benefit from, regardless of whether they practice religion or not!

Lent is the 40 days, excluding Sundays, which precede Easter. First let’s talk about Easter, in short. As mentioned, this is something everyone can benefit from regardless of whether they subscribe to a religious viewpoint or not. Easter can also be looked at as a journey within each of us. The whole Bible, in fact, can be read in this manner, as if it is speaking of everyone’s own individual journey. We are Adam. We are Eve. We are Moses. We are the Woman at the Well. We are Jesus. Each of these figures and all the others can be viewed as representing a part of ourselves. Jesus represents that in each of us which is perfect; the true image of God in us; that which is loving, pure, strong and true. The Christ Spirit exists in us all.

So, from this perspective, Easter is a story of rising above and transcending that which earthly man puts upon us. It is a story of victory of spirit. It is a story of overcoming anything through the Christ Spirit in us.

Now lent is not mentioned in the Bible, but rather it was devised as a religious practice. To me, the number 40 symbolizes the amount of time it takes to complete something. I think this is why 40 days is so often the number of days of years written of as someone going into the wilderness or fasting and praying. But lent is 40 days, nonetheless. Sundays are, in the Christian tradition, a day for rest, so they are not included in the 40 days. Me, I include them. It is Sunday today, and yet here I am typing to you!

As to a new way of looking at Lent, let’s look at it as the time needed to complete the process of getting ourselves ready to overcome the biggest obstacle ever. What would that take? THOSE are the things to give up!

Lent is a time to give up that which is weighing you down. But then, what is to ground you? That’s where the good part comes in. For every negative habit or pattern of thinking or living that you give up, how about picking up a good habit or pattern of thinking or living with which to replace it? Nature abhors a vacuum, you know!

So what might be holding you back? Allow me to through some thoughts out….Anger, greed, fear, jealousy, resentment, guilt, blaming, negative thinking, selfishness, self-pity, arrogance, false-pride, laziness, gluttony, envy, dishonesty…need I go on? These are the types of things we need to get rid of in order to overcome our problems in life, no matter how big or small. Make your own list! Toxic relationships, people pleasing, vulgarity, gossip, hatred, bitterness, prejudice, impatience, judgementalness, closed-mindedness…there are more!

But don’t leave it there…give thought to what you want to allow to fill up those empty spaces! Invite those things to come in! Practice being honest, loving, patient, kind, open-minded, gentle, non-judgemental, accepting, joyous, positive, secure, giving and free! Make a list of all those things, and then take the two lists and practice letting go of something one day and taking something into your daily experience the next through your conscious responses to life!

Practice denying the power of any outside force, real or imagined, over your life. And then practice affirming the power of good (God) in you and ever-present to jump into action. Affirm you are loving, peaceful, healthy, kind, full of wisdom, etc. Because you are! At the very core of your being, you are! You were created in the image of God! And when thoughts of sickness, poverty, anger or anything else negative begins to take over your mind, just remember, these are but passing conditions. There is no real power in them.

The real power is in you! And it’s good…always! So take this time of Lent to think on these things and Let Go and Let God be God in You!

Blessings,

“Vibraceous, ND”


Rev. Dr. Jody Evans

www.essentias-of-life.org

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