After the Lenten Sacrifice, Then What?: An Opinion PieceApr 25, 2022 03:00PM ● By Candice Stewart
Lent, the 40-day period that leads up to Easter, ended on April 14th – the eve of Good Friday. It is the time usually marked by Christians and people from a Christianity background – or those who wish to actively participate – to give up or sacrifice a practice or everyday obsession or desire.
It is in the sacrifice of things and conditions that we usually depend on where we acknowledge that we don’t have permanent ownership of or access to them. We make the sacrifice to acknowledge that holding on to those things and conditions may be the best expression of love. The Lenten period is also often celebrated or observed by giving of oneself to the benefit of those who are in greater need than ourselves.
In a previous opinion piece, I mentioned that my Lenten sacrifices were for me to deny myself access to particular social media apps (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) as well as the consumption of particular foods to better improve my health. I also pledged to give more to people who are in greater need than I am.
Read "Lent and Sacrifice: An Opinion Piece":
The 40-day Lenten Sacrifice
Before going any further, I must confess publicly that if this was an ultimate test, I failed. I was on day 32 of the journey when I caved and re-downloaded the social media apps to my phone and jumped back into the habit of sharing and scrolling. I also failed the ‘healthier food choices’ sacrifice. I’m not sure what day it was but I devoured some unhealthy food before completing the Lenten period. Do I feel bad about it? I do not. Am I going to try and justify the action of going against my word? I will not.
What I can say is, although I did not complete the journey, my mindset has changed. The way in which I use the social media spaces has been redefined to a state where I no longer spend a ridiculous amount of time mindlessly scrolling or watching to see who views my content or worry about what people have to say about that content. As for the poor food choices, I have somehow curbed my appetite. So, whereas I used to give in to every craving for unhealthy food, I now give in some of the time.
Though I did not publicly state how I would willingly give of myself to the benefit of those in greater need, I can report that I did. My goal was to do 4 rounds of giving but I achieved half of that goal.
This experience might be simplistic to some but these are major milestones for me. Being able to grow through that experience and acknowledge the growth suggests that I am no longer tied down or consumed by those things or feelings.
What I have come to realize is that the power and will to control what I do and how I use my time is solely up to me. I have found, as well, that where I used to waste my time “mindlessly scrolling”, I could be engaging in more fulfilling activities. So, for the 32-day period of no social media, I focused on improving my writing and content creation skills. I read some more and practiced more self-care than ever before.
The experience has reiterated to me that the seemingly major things will always be around and continuously changing. There’s nothing to really miss and catching up is easy. However, the mind, body, soul, and innate gifts and talents can erode or get lost without the opportunity to truly restore it or improve upon its presence.
I was also reminded that doing a smaller amount does not have to mean you short-change yourself or others. In the case of me assisting the less fortunate, the main point is that I was able to help people, and that counts for something.
The answer is simple, really. I became a better human than I was before starting.
Yes, these are purely subjective statements but they are part of my truth.
I encourage everyone to make sacrifices in your lives and consciously observe how your lives change. Choose, as well as give to others, and you will witness your life shift before your eyes. You do not have to wait until the Lenten period to do this.
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