Ash Wednesday

Today many people are deciding on what they're giving up for Lent which begins today and lasts for 40 days (not counting Sundays). It's an admirable thing to do. The reason behind doing it is to identify with Jesus' forty days of fasting and temptation in the wilderness. It also helps us identify with Christ's sufferings in these weeks leading up to Good Friday.

I've never been in a church that had Ash Wednesday services or where most people gave something up for Lent. Any spiritual discipline (such as fasting) or church tradition (such as a cross of ash on your forehead) that bring you closer to God are beneficial. I find it desirable.

Sometimes we give up something just because we know it's bad for us--like smoking or candy--but that leaves us with a void (an empty space which that thing we're giving up used to fill). And we forget to fill that void with something else that fulfills our spiritual needs.

I've never given up something for Lent. I guess I've never felt called to do so; I've also been a little doubtful that I could be successful for 40 days.

I think, instead of giving something up (though maybe it will result in giving up wasted time), I'm going to try to go through a Lenten devotional with my wife.

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