Growing up a good ol’ Baptist, I didn’t observe Lent. A couple of years ago, however, (in a Baptist church no less) I went to my first Ash Wednesday service. Maybe it was because I didn’t know what Ash Wednesday really was (other than my high school friends getting out of school to go get ashes on their foreheads), and maybe it was because it was fresh and new and not a habit to me, I was really struck by it. Finishing a somber service with someone placing ashes on my forehead while saying the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” made it real for me in that moment. I entered the Lenten season actually excited to see what it could mean in my life.
While it is still a new experience in my faith, I have found it helpful in directing my thoughts and focus. However, I realize that for others who grew up observing it, it has become stale, meaningless… possibly even a form of pride or resentment. I don’t mean that in an insulting way- there are plenty of practices that I grew up with that have become that for me. And I think that’s why I like this- it gives me a new perspective.
Something that I’ve taken into consideration this year as Lent has approached is the thought- what if I add something into my life, rather than (or along with) taking something away. My husband has even addressed this over on his blog.
So, not to steal my husband’s question… well, okay, to steal it… are you giving up or adding something into your life for Lent?