Not once in my half-century of attending church have I ever been asked to participate in Lent. I recall listening to some rambling sermons, but I never had to actually DO anything—until last week when a pastor half my age challenged the congregation to do more than sit and wait for Easter.
Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness before he began his ministry. It was a time of intense preparation for all he’d face. Lent, the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, will be my chance to prepare my heart and mind for Easter—and what Jesus did for me.
The pastor suggested things like daily Bible reading, time alone with God, maybe occasional fasting, or even practicing a new, good habit. Bible reading and time with God have come fairly easy to me in my middle age. But practicing a new, good habit—that might be a challenge for someone who thinks she already has enough to do.
I recalled from my days in college psychology, it takes about four days to rewire our brain circuits to change a behavior and then another 21 days to make it last. That means the 40 days of Lent could prepare my heart for Easter and I could do something that will be part of my life from now on.
A new, good habit. I’d like to go from a pew warmer to a heart warmer. Each day is a new, good day to make someone else’s a bit better—maybe a letter, a call, a visit. 40 days to warm hearts. Lent begins today. What would you choose?