Over the years people have come to Ash Wednesday and Lent with a list of what to “give up” for 40 days. The sad thing is the “giving up” is not meant to be a punishment, and on Easter the reward will be to pick up the bad habit again. The point is to “give up” something that distances one from God, others, self, and creation. To give up regret, pain, sorrow, negativity, neglect, or abuse of self so that one can become ready to receive true redemption from Jesus Christ, to be forgiven and to start on the path to a new and better life filled with love, kindness, goodness, and joy. Please don’t just give up diet coke, give up things that are addictive and draw your thoughts to them instead of the needs of others. Please don’t just give up cursing, give up negative reactions that hurt others so that you may feel better briefly.
Today, consider prayerfully what you should change to open your heart to God, self, others, and creation.