I was "sorta" raised LDS. I don't recall Lent being something that we did or even talked about. We did have Fast Sunday once a month. Maybe that was our Lent. I really don't know.
I really don't know much about religious practices or the reasons behind them. Since becoming a member of the Boise UCC I have been absorbing so much. Ravenous for the truth and the light and the reason. Being loved by the most accepting and kind community I could ever imagine and being taught by a pastor who, I believe with all my heart, is lead by Christ to share his truth with those of us who come wounded, agnostic, atheistic, angry and perhaps purposely or subconsciously impenetrable.
As a child, I was familiar with the saying, "I am giving it up for Lent." but until adulthood I didn't really know that was actually a religious time. Given the people who I remember saying that, I don't think they were using it as a religious intention but rather a joke about procrastination.
In all honestly, I used to make silly Lent promises. Things like, "I will stop smoking." Nice sentiment but... I don't and have never smoked. I suppose I was looking for a sure win. I don't know. But this year. Lent has begun to make sense to me. I have had to look deeper. There are a lot of things I need to give up, period, not just for Lent but forever. But I am not in the best place emotionally right now to toss out my crutches. So I began to think about the things that God gives me everyday that I ignore, or take for granted. There was a long list. But in fear of failing, I narrowed it down to one.
Those who don't know me, I am going through some extreme personal challenges which exacerbates my depression. I find myself hold up in my house with my blinds drawn and just surviving from Sunday to Sunday. No sunlight. No outside vistas. I realized, or perhaps was lead by the spirit to the realization that I was ignoring the sunrise and the light each day that is given to me by God. I felt ashamed that I ignored him everyday. Something so simple in our minds, the sunrise, the daylight. Its there everyday. "The sun also rises." Yet I turned my back on it and hid inside denying a miracle, everyday.
It may seem too simple. Too easy. A bit trite. But I gave up keeping my blinds closed everyday. It isn't easy. Every morning, I begrudgingly walk to my doors and open them. I say, "I promised you". I don't stand there too long. The appreciation really hasn't seeped into my heart yet. But I am keeping my tiny little promise. I will let his sun shine into my house. I live in faith that he will see my dedication to such a small promise and find a way into my heart to comfort me for my small promise. Like the Little Drummer Boy who only had a drum to play a song for the baby Jesus. I have nothing more to give God this year than he did back then.
May God count the small things and bless those of us who have nothing more to give.
Published March 2010 Boise UCC Herald