Today is the first day of Lent. Last year for Lent I gave up movies, and it was hard, but I felt good about it. This year, I couldn't think of anything to give up (oatmeal? cleaning my room? working out? hmmm....)
Lent is a time for us to remember the sacrifice of Christ, and to somehow participate in it: perhaps develop a greater appreciation for it. Of course, Christ does tell us that to follow him, we must deny ourselves. I think that the practice of denying oneself a luxury for 40 days can be a productive exercise. But that it not why Christ came. He came to "give life, more abundantly".
Might it not sometimes (and this is not for everyone-- I don't mean to disrespect those who glean meaning form the traditional Lent) --might it not sometimes be be appropriate to participate in a habit of giving life to others instead of denying ourselves? What better way to show gratitude to Christ for his gift of life than to show gratitude to our friends? With this in mind I have decided to attempt to send a letter of thanks to a different person each day of Lent. I almost hesitate to announce my intention for fear that it will ruin the joy for those who receive a note, or sadden those who don't, but since I'm quite excited about this idea, I've chosen to anyway.
And now I end so that I can write my first note...