Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Tomorrow is the first day of lent, which means that many Christians will decide to give something up or add something to their lives for the next 40 days.  Many people give up a food indulgence like desserts or cookies or potato chips.  Some people give up not-so-great behaviors like squabbling or swearing. 

This got me thinking.  What if we really made a commitment in our lives to give up the habits that get us in the most trouble, not for just 40 days but forever?  I don’t just mean the obvious ones like smoking, speeding, drinking, lying, stealing, or eating fast food.  I mean those big, giant hippo-sized changes that we pretend we don’t need to make because the prospect is so terrifying that it’s just easier to ignore them altogether.

What if we stopped holding grudges?  Living in the past?  Hating our jobs but refusing to do anything about it?  Hating our bodies but refusing to change them?  What if we let go of regrets and moved on?  What if we stopped bickering over stuff we don’t care about and addressed the real underlying issues?  What if we stopped hating things we don’t understand?  Beating ourselves up?  Sabotaging our own success?  Giving into our fears?  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?  Feeling jealous of other people?  Wasting money on things we don’t really need?  Letting other people hurt us?  Wishing we had a significant other or a better house or a better child or a better life?

By the same token, what if we added something to our lives, not just for 40 days but for the next 40 forevers?  What if we decided to add more love by adopting a child or a pet, or by volunteering?  What if we decided to add more fun by reaching out to friends and families and trying new things?  More laughter?  More patience?  More listening?  More kindness?  More (calculated) risks?  More joy?  More thankfulness?

Just a thought.

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