So, back to "what to do"... I don't ascribe to the idea that the only way to observe a Holy Lent is to give up something. Giving up something has been a way to have us think about what is really important, so it is one way to observe Lent, but one can also give up by giving back. I offer the following "Top Ten" alternatives for Lent:
- Buy a can of food every time you go to the grocery store, and at the end of Lent, deliver them all to a local food pantry.
- Stop using the "F" "B" or "N" word on Facebook.
- Don't post anything on Facebook that is negative about another human being.
- Spend fifteen minutes in the morning, and again at night, thanking God for a new day of possibilities, and for another day of living.
- Give blood, work in a soup kitchen one day, raise money for a charity.
- Commit to keeping your eyes open to the workings of God in the world each day.
- Reach out to an elderly family member, or a friend you haven't been in touch with (especially if you parted badly).
- Get up to see the sunrise, or make it a point to see it set.
- Do a daily spiritual practice (meditation, prayer, walking).
- Go on a carbon fast - give up one item each day that contributes to destruction of our environment. Possibilities are:
- Change a light bulb to a more energy efficient one.
- Cut down on using plastic bags.
- Walk rather than drive.
- Unplug your chargers when not in use.
- Choose a day each week when no electronics will be charged.
Wishing you all the blessings of a Holy Lent.