Lent. The time of the year when Catholics attend church up until Easter and then go back into the woodwork. On Ash Wednesdays, you may wonder why the guy you just walked past has a black blob on his forehead. The time of the year when you’re advised to give up sweets, cursing, or gossip. Last but not least, meat is forbidden on Fridays.
As a born-and-raised practicing Catholic, I grew up living all these realities every spring. Yes, it was repetitive and always seemed like too many guidelines. None of my friends had to give up chocolate for 40 days, so why should I? However, the habits I gave up each year always gave me a new perspective on where my priorities stood.
The majority of Catholics believe Lent is a time of rid of a bad habit in their everyday life. But it is also advised to practice being a better person doing something that would benefit others.
This Lenten season, I’ve decided to practice having more patience with others and myself. I’m notorious for my road rage tendencies; just ask my family and friends (sorry, guys.) It’s even worse when I’m playing back-seat driver, but that’s another story. It’s become a problem.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that suffers from this. But in one form or another, we all struggle with patience, whether it comes to waiting on others or reaching a goal in a timely manner. Having patience is hard! We all want to be in control of our own fates and decisions. But if you really think about it, none of us really know what tomorrow brings us. And who knows what others can contribute to our fate? The answer is, we don’t know.
The only way in life we are positive about is the value we bring to the table. Believe it or not, one person in this world is influenced by your actions and thoughts without your knowledge. That makes all of us very unique and powerful in our own ways, and a very cool thing to realize.
One last thing: you don’t HAVE to be Catholic in order to better yourself! Try changing one thing about yourself you feel could be enhanced. You just may see a difference.
What are you practicing for Lent? Or just doing for your benefit and others? I would love to hear.