How can denial and service be a gift? Well, it takes 40 days to develop a habit and this type of exercise can be seen as an opportunity. I know many people who use the Lenten sacrifice as a time to diet. I can’t count the number of people who have shared with me that they have given up chocolate or sugar. Maybe that’s worked well for them. Perhaps every time they have that craving, they find themselves more present to Christ and his sacrifice. But, besides a restrictive diet, we need to take up the badge of service, find something we can do for another. There are so many in such dire straits right now. How can I be of more service than I already am? Maybe I need to go through the house and give up a few coats and other items of clothing. One of my dear friends is always reminding me that someone else could be using the items I have left untouched for months and in some cases, years. Perhaps, it’s a time for me to be a prayer warrior. How can I add more prayer to my daily practice especially for those most in need? Maybe I can send a note or make a call once or twice a week to friends I haven’t touched base with in a while? I can pray for them, offer up a day for them, send them a visible sign of my love, like a note or a care, even an email might work. I’m sure you can think of many other ways you can give back.
And, what can I give up? What new habit cans I develop over the Lenten season that won’t simply reduce my waistline but will add to the quality of my life, my life and hopefully the lives of all those I touch? I have decided to give up ingratitude. Ingratitude is defined in the dictionary as “forgetfulness or poor return for kindness received.” A synonym is “thanklessness.”