Hey everybody, I thought I’d change things up a bit this week. As you’re all probably aware, Lent started last week and if you take part in it and are anything like me, you may have failed at whatever you were doing already. Fear not. I’ve always liked the way different people have different approaches to Lent, and for me, it’s the most personal event in the Church calendar. What I mean by that is that only we can know what we should really give up or try harder at or focus on during this time. There’s no use saying to someone “you should do this for Lent” because I think it’s a real time between yourself and God, so the decisions should be made that way. I would love to say that I have the memory and discipline to be able to not drink or eat sugar or whatever it is people do for these 40 days, but I just don’t. I do believe it’s important to strip away unnecessary things at this time, and I do try, but in recent years I’ve also found that adding certain things to my life really enhances my experience of Lent.
I like to take this time to reflect on the blessings that have come throughout my life, all of which are ultimately due to Christ’s most perfect sacrifice. I do this by actively thanking Him daily for whatever happens that makes me smile. It works both ways because having these things at the front of my mind always puts me in a really good mood! Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”
With that in mind, I had an idea to think of a blessing for every day of Lent and thank God for them. This is only a very small thing but it helps me and in the hope that it might help you, or even just make you smile, I’m gonna share them. This list is (clearly) in no order and varies from the philosophical to the downright absurd. What they all have in common is that, without God, they would mean nothing.
- The feeling of putting on a hoody when the sun goes down at camp/on holiday.
- The fact that every day by just going out and living, you’re almost guaranteed a new anecdote.
- Being woken up by the sun streaming in the window.
- Telling a joke in a foreign language. (bonus points if they actually laugh)
- That one song that can make you feel better no matter how crap your day has been.
- My family.
- Being able to think rationally about something.
- Conversations that you never want to end.
- Seeing old friends and going straight back to the way you’ve always related.
- Being able to call a place “home.”
- Being able to go home.
- Being able to give to charity.
- When someone says exactly what you need to hear, exactly when you need to hear it.
- Doing something improvised that could not have gone better even if it was planned.
- Failure, or more precisely, learning from failure.
- Deep chats with interesting people.
- Seeing kids just being kids. I will say this is one of my faves.
- When someone does something just out of love for others.
- My friends. I’m convinced I know some of the greatest people on God’s green Earth.
- Reading the Bible and realising time and time again how much it applies to our lives today.
- Younger siblings. Watching them grow up. Realising what a dick I was to my parents.
- That kind of love that makes you forget to breathe for a second and your heart hurts. This one is special because it’s not necessarily romantic, it’s just straight up love.
- Appreciating something as it is happening.
- Making the best of a bad situation.
- Realising how well you were raised, and what impact that has had on your life.
- Being influential and trying to be a good influence.
- Reaching an age at which you totes don’t care for drama.
- When a group of regular people come together to create something incredible. In my personal experience, I’ve gotten to see this every year at Sentry Camp.
- Sentry Camp. Yeah it gets a separate one because it’s just that awesome.
- Learning the difference between doing what you love, and loving what you do.
- Scottish accents outside of Scotland. Anyone who lives away from home, just replace “Scottish” and “Scotland” with your own accent and homeland and you’ll no doubt agree.
- Hugs. In the right setting with the right people, they are powerful.
- Learning that God’s got your back and it’s not actually going to help anything if you stress. The peace that comes from that is hard to beat.
- Laughing. I can’t express my appreciation for this one. Equally, making other people laugh. I swear it’s like when Harry looks in the Mirror of Erised and sees the Philosopher’s Stone in his pocket then it’s actually there. I’d also like to add a part 2 to this one: Wondering what you would see when you look in the Mirror of Erised.
- Harry Potter. Some of you may question this, but frankly I don’t care. Lol jokes I totes care. My reason for this one is because those books are my childhood. This one kind of doubles up too, it may as well say “memories of my childhood.”
- The luxury of having time to think, reflect, pray etc. And using it.
- Discovering your talents and being in situations where you can use them to help others.
I want to finish by saying that as some of us strip away the unnecessary at this time, it’s important to remember those who don’t even have the necessary, and keep them in our thoughts and prayers. We are an unbelievably privileged people. We must use our position to love, to care for, to fight for, to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
Thanks again for reading!
Dios te bendiga,