I looked at the calendar the other day. I had just finished writing down the location, time, etc. for a half day of work. I noticed something was printed on the 9th, and glanced at it. It said "Ash Wednesday".
To be honest, I never really gave any thought to the meaning behind Ash Wednesday. Today, I decided to look it up (after reading this post from Pete Wilson) to learn more about it.
Ash Wednesday is the first day that marks a 40 day period, aka Lent, (not including Sundays) until Easter. Not all Christian denominations observe Lent, but for those that do, this period of time is when they will abstain from something (a certain food, habit, etc.) for the 40 days.
Lent is a time for fasting, using moderation, repenting, and observing spiritual discipline. I can remember growing up that it seemed to me only Catholics took part in Lent. That is because all of my friends who were Catholic would talk about what they were giving up for Lent. None of my other friends (who were not Catholic) ever talked about it. I know now, that Lent is not just for Catholics. In the past several years, I have become more aware (probably from reading different Christian blogs) of people in other denominations taking part in Lent.
I've never taken part in Lent (because I had always thought it was for Catholics, and I'm not a Catholic), and in all honesty, don't know if I will this year or not. It will have to be something I pray about today/tonight and figure out what I should abstain from for the next 40 days, beginning tomorrow. I am sure there are a lot of things I could give up (fast from) for Lent - computer time, watching TV, certain foods, bad habits...and when I'm craving those thing, use the time to pray and focus on Jesus instead.
I'm sure it would be a good thing to participate in Lent...but I don't know if I will.
Are you taking part in Lent? What are you giving up for this 40 day period before Easter?