What are you giving up for Lent?
I still don’t know what I’m doing, but I don’t think I’m going to be giving up chocolate (which I’m not that excited about) or alcohol (I don’t drink beyond the odd – very odd – G&T). I don’t think giving up a food item is really up to much. Who benefits when you switch from chocolate to crisps? It’s not exactly going to do anything to improve the state of affairs is it? And just seeing it as a chance to lose weight doesn’t really seem to match the needs of the season.
I rather liked the idea that Alan the vicar in the Archers on Radio 4 came up with – give up gossip and engage in spontaneous acts of kindness. That sounds more like it. I think I’ll give it a try. There is way too much gossip in the world, there really is.
I also thought about doing the 40 in 40 challenge – clearing out 40 bags of stuff in 40 days. As I’ve been gradually clearing out over the past few months I’m not sure there would be 40 bags of my stuff left to take. Even the kids – or two of them at least – have had a chuck out recently. I’d have to tackle my DH’s stuff. Which would probably result in divorce. Better not go there.
At church yesterday our lady assistant chaplain, Sarah talked about trying to live frugally in Lent so that we can give more. Sounds good to me. Living frugally will probably also free up some time to – as she put it – live more meaningfully. Slowing down and taking time to reflect more – on faith, yes, but also on how we live our lives and how our lives impact on those around us.
For a long time I’ve been heading down the path of simplicity – which I imagine probably pretty much equates to Sarah’s frugality. Taking time to live more meaningfully. Not multitasking and doing everything on automatic pilot. Slowing down and actually taking the time to listen when other people talk. Focusing 100% on a child who needs help with his homework rather than trying to combine it with doing the ironing or cooking the dinner. I think everybody benefits when we live frugally. We actually live life to the full – 100% doing the things that we choose to do – rather than a rather unsatisfactory and stressful juggling act. Not shopping frees up rather a lot of time, so does not gossiping, not to mention not spending hours aimlessly surfing the net.
This Lent I’m going to live life to the full…but slowly. I’m going to be mindful of those around me and take the time to listen for little hints that may mean that something somewhere isn’t right and someone somewhere needs a helping hand. I’m not going to let myself be drawn into gossiping and I’m going to take a little time every day to meditate on the meaning of Lent and the way to the cross. Our world seems to be in a right old mess at the moment – and I’m going to do my part by following Alan’s suggestion and engaging in random acts of kindness.
That’s all. End of sermon.
If you don’t do religion I apologise, but this was on my mind today! Quilting and knitting will probably return tomorrow!