I WAS WITH THREE eighteen year olds recently and mentioned, "Lent starts soon." Two of the three were silent but the third said, "Is that when you give up something?" And I thought, how is it that someone is still speaking in such a simplistic way about Lent? We gave up the simply giving up idea of Lent decades ago.
But hope springs eternal. Ashes on our foreheads for a day, maybe just a few hours - what can it mean? We might start here: much of the world is in ashes with so much war, relational disintegration and people-destroying hatred.
There'll be a post here each of Lent's Forty Days. Lent is called The Church's Springtime. Whatever I do for Lent I must do for the sake of inner light, interior renewal, new inner growth. To that end I'm proposing a Lenten project with the theme: Save a Child. Whatever I do, or my family does for Lent - that it would be somehow directed towards saving a child somewhere. There are countless organizations that would be happy for our support.
- Americans spend 69 bbbbillion dollars a year on lottery tickets.
- Americans spend 83 bbbbillion dollars a year on beer.
- Americans spend 6 bbbbillion dollars a year on potato chips.
- Americans spend 11 bbbbillion dollars a year on face lifts, BOTOX and breast augmentation.
There's no value-judgment made in sharing of any of these statistics. They're simply presented to illustrate that Americans (no matter what we say about the state of the economy) still have spending power. The numbers say something about what matters to us as a nation. So might we make of this Lent forty days of doing what we can (sacrificially) to save a child. Be creative! God bless your Lenten efforts.