We're one week into the Lenten season, for many denominations of Christians and Catholics, a 40-day period of self-sacrifice that honors Christ's sacrifice of Himself on the cross for our sins, which ends in celebration on Resurrection Sunday.
If it only takes 21 days to break a bad habit, Lent is, perhaps, the perfect season to reset your spiritual, physical and mental life, for good. As a kid, I would use these 40 long days and nights to give up candy and soda, and then gorge myself on the goodies in my Easter basket when Lent was over. This year, i've decided to give up "white liquor", but I also think it’s high time I give up something a little bit more substantial.
So often we get caught up in the hurt and disappointment relationships with others or lost opportunities can cause. These people and things seem so important, so vital to our existence and our validation, that when family and friends walk away from us or we miss out on opportunities unfairly, we start to mourn, not only the time, energy and resources we poured into those people or things, but we also mourn what could have or should have been.
If you are still stuck in your yesterday, not maximizing your today, and preparing for your tomorrow, here are the 3 steps to let go and move forward.
Step one: See the bigger picture. These people didn’t leave us, these opportunities didn’t forsake us, God rejected them from our lives. God, who knows our past, present and future, allowed, for a season, certain things to exist around us and then removed from us that which would hinder us from becoming who He created us to be. That is a cause for celebration, not mourning!
Yet sometimes we hold on to those things, not only out of pride and a need for validation, but also out of fear that this person, this place, this opportunity is as good as it could possibly get for us. Let us be reminded: our God “is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think.”
This season of Lent, I am giving up everything that God has rejected for me. All people, places and things that God has clearly let me know were not meant to be in my present or future, they’re gone, with my gratitude for the lessons and my warmest regards.
But though this first step of release is huge, Lent is not just about what we’re giving up; it’s also about what we’re going to actively replace these new vacancies with.
Step two: Replenish Yourself. In the ultimate immaculate shade , God tells Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil." “Fill your horn with oil”. That’s God acknowledging that we have allowed some things to drain us, to empty us completely, and in that state, we cannot be of use. During this time of Lent, we’ve got to fill ourselves back up.
Step three: Go! After God tells Samuel to fill his horn with oil, He tells Samuel to “go” to a new place and anoint a new king. With a renewed mind, body and soul, we can achieve the new things that God wants to do in our lives and in the world, through us.
Let’s make the most of these 40 days and 40 nights. Forgetting those things which are behind us. Onward!
For inspiration: Learn to Get Over It.