We have reached the second month of the new year. On February 14, we will begin the season of Lent. Lent is the 40 days of preparation for the joy of Easter. How should we get ready?

One of the normal practices that is done currently is the “giving up” of something for the season of Lent. People give up sodas, candy, social media, among many more. This is a good discipline. We could all pass on somethings we consume or spend our time doing. But let’s make it even better.

If you stop purchasing something that you usually purchase daily or weekly, take the money you would normally have spent and turn it into something constructive. At the end of Lent, give that money to Habitat, or Society of St. Andrews, or St. Jude, or any other special service group.

If you give up something like social media or other activities that take your time, turn that time into something constructive. Use that time to read the Bible, practice spiritual disciplines such as journaling, prayerful listening, or meditation. If you can do so, invest that time in volunteering, visiting those who live alone, or helping out a neighbor.

Why do we do these things? What is it we are seeking to accomplish during Lent? We are challenged during this season to examine our own lives and practices and discover if they fit how a Christ-like life is to be lived. Do we need to have all the things that we have and want? Could we live more simply? Do our possessions interfere with practicing our faith?

Let us all take this month to do self-examination and see if we need to redirect our course. The people who talk about getting ready for retirement always talk about reviewing our path to retirement, why not do the same for our Christian life here and beyond.

Shalom, Darrell