Today, Ash Wednesday, starts the season of Lent.
Growing up, I had no idea what Lent was. In middle school, many of my friends were giving things up, and I thought it sounded like a fun challenge, so I gave up chocolate. I always messed up once or twice at the beginning – not because I wanted chocolate that badly, but simply because I wasn’t in the practice of not eating it. Looking back, I missed the memo that generally people give things up to spend more time with God.
As I have gotten older I have begun to realize this importance of Lent. I no longer challenge myself to give something up, just to say I did. This year, I’m not planning on giving anything up…except a little time. This Lent, I am going to challenge myself to pray for 10 minutes a day. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not that long, but between now and Easter, that will add up to seven and a half hours. For someone who easily forgets to make time for God when there’s homeworks due, and tests to study for, and robots to build, and fundraisers to plan, I’m sure that this will prove to be more difficult than anticipated. But like giving up chocolate, I hope that after a while, it will become a habit, that will hopefully even go beyond this season of Lent.
Hopefully you, too, will find some time in the coming weeks to slow down in the midst of your crazy life and have some time to just be.
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)