I grew up in a devout Missouri Synod Lutheran family where the only reason you missed church, Sunday School or a church event was because you were running a 104 temperature, or we were on vacation. I became burned out on “organized religion” at an early age and while my faith is incredibly deep, I’d rather be worshiping the Almighty while fly fishing, hiking or kayaking on a Sunday morning. We have some great conversations out there and I have found the connection is much more clear and responsive.
As a child, I always questioned why we needed to give something up for Lent. Why were my Catholic friends only allowed to eat fish on Fridays? Who made up these crazy rules? Easter is supposed to be the most auspicious, fabulous religious holiday, and powers that be made it about as much fun as a trip to the dentist.
Somewhere in my 30’s I saw a comment that made so much sense. Instead of giving up something for Lent, why not GIVE?
Volunteer your time, donate to your favorite charity, go overboard on random acts of kindness! Whatever works best for you, just give and then give some more.
Giving will not only make someone else feel better, but it will make you feel better. The more you give, the more you want to give.
Giving up a steak, chocolate, your favorite bottle of wine – what does that do? To me, it only makes me want it more when Lent is over. I know it’s all about Christ giving his life for us, but I truly believe he would rather see us giving to others with reckless abandon, and understand the true meaning of giving without expecting anything in return.
So this Lenten season, give and give some more. And after Easter is over, keep giving throughout the year!