Happy Ash Wednesday, friends! For those of you who do not observe Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, or Lenten season, let me break it down for you:
Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is a day of gluttony. The idea is that one indulges in eating rich foods before the start of the Lenten season, a period of sacrifice. So, where does Ash Wednesday fit into all of this? Well, Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting, prayer, and penitence to prepare for Lent. At the stroke of midnight, Lenten season will commence—40 days and nights (excluding Sundays) of surrendering a vice until its end on Easter.
While I didn’t observe the Lenten Season when I was younger, I’ve recently taken an interest in its practice and purpose of patience, prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement, and self-denial. Whether it was giving up social media, pop (soda), swearing, or fast food, I’ve found myself renewed holistically by the end of the Lenten season—and my hope and prayer is that this year will be no different.
Regardless of if you are a Christian or an observer of these traditions, I want to encourage you to take part in the #KermitSaysLent Challenge and use these 40 days and 40 nights for self-reflection. If done properly, I guarantee you’ll walk away with a (re)new(ed) sense of purpose and patience. You don’t have to think of it as giving something up, but of gaining something new.
There are two ways you can go about this: 1) either sacrificing something you enjoy and/or 2) taking something on. These don’t have to be massive undertakings, but it could be as simple as reducing your amount of screen time or doing 40 small acts of kindness for others (e.g. volunteer to cook dinner for your family, write a thank you note to your coach or favorite teacher, or help a struggling stranger). To make it even more interesting, try to find something that will impact you and/or others holistically, that is in mind, body, and soul. Whatever you choose to do this Season, may it be something meaningful, thoughtful, and transformative.
To join the challenge, head to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and share your Lenten Season plan using the hashtag #KermitSaysLent. If you’re not on social media, feel free to leave a comment below with your plan instead. Happy Lenting!