Lent is traditionally viewed as a time for sacrifice. It is actually a time for personal transformation, sometimes achieved by sacrifice, always by appreciation and generosity to others. Over the next 45 days, try some of the ideas below – consistently – and see how your life is positively changed.
Try seeing the world through others’ eyes. Seek the divinity in every person you meet. Look for the child they once were, innocent and full of wonder. See the grace and, perhaps, wisdom they now bring to your day. Notice what makes them special and tell them. Thank them for enriching your life. You’ll make them happy and you’ll change yourself for the better. Simple, really.
- Write a letter each day to different individuals, telling them why they are special to you and why you are grateful they are in your life.
- Think daily of an enemy, even the person who’s hurt you the most. Thank God for their presence in your life, and ask that they be blessed.
- Give up complaining and negative behavior.
- Spend time in a nursing home or visit someone who is convalescing at home.
- Try the four kinds of prayer each day. WOW –something wonderful. THANKS – gratitude for a blessing. Shhh – listen and discern. Help – ask for guidance.
- Call the people you need to talk to. Give up texting.
- Make “found money” – the money you find in the couch, on the floor, wherever it turns up – God’s money, and give it to the poor.
- Spend time with your spouse, partner or significant other, talking, having fun, praying. Strengthen your relationship. Intentionally develop a new mutual interest.
- Take a picture of something you are thankful for each day and hang them somewhere you can see them.
- Volunteer. Perhaps at a homeless shelter, a food bank, a crisis center, a children’s home, or a pet shelter…wherever your gifts would make someone else’s life better. It will be transformative.