Lent is the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday (not including Sundays). Traditionally, it is a season for fasting and repentance, a season of soul-examination drawing from Jesus’ experience in the wilderness. This year, Lent starts on Wednesday, February 14 and lasts until Saturday, March 31.
For the past two Lenten seasons, I have adopted the practice of reflecting on a word prompt and taking a photo as an expression of that day’s reflections (I have also done this for Advent, in preparation for Christmas). I began this practice at a time in my life when I felt like I was living in a wilderness and it felt more do-able and life-giving than abstaining from or giving up something. While this Lenten practice is not “giving up” anything per se, it does require intentional focus and going deeper – a setting aside of shallower thoughts and mindless ways. 40 days is a long period and usually by some point in the middle, I start feeling the “discipline” aspect. It’s very tempting to give up and let it slide. I welcome this as a reminder of my frailty and my need for God to sustain me through each day all the way until Easter.