With the start of Lent tomorrow, the question, “What are you giving up, or what have you given up for Lent will be asked many times over the next six weeks.” It seems that the things people tend to give up for Lent fall into two categories. Things that they really enjoy or things that are bad for them and should be given up whether or not the thing is given up as part of a lenten discipline.
I wonder though, and by saying that I’m indicating that I’ve never actually tried it, what would it be like if we gave up something essential for Lent. Now, I’m not suggesting that anyone drop their medication for six weeks or abandon the eating schedule that their doctor has told them they must maintain. What I am suggesting however, is that for six weeks we give up something that creates a real inconvenience to our lifestyle.
I’m not sure how this would play out in any given person’s life, but I’m thinking what might we do for the six weeks of Lent that would mean we were forced to rely on other people to accomplish some aspect of our daily routine. This is not an attempt to get out of doing our fair share of work but rather letting go of a little of our own independence. Also, we would hopefully be taking the time to allow someone else to rely on us in the same way we are relying on others.
Perhaps this is too difficult to accomplish without some manner of planning ahead of time. Perhaps our society places such an emphasis on getting things done attitude that we can’t imagine what it is like to let others do for us. Perhaps though, Lent can be a time to start developing a discipline of mutual caring and sharing that will carry on even after Easter.