The Lenten Season is one in which we ready our hearts for Christ's passion week in the time-frame of 40 days. I read a good article (I know, it's Wikipedia, but I learned a lot!) which really helped me to understand some of the traditions associated with Lent.
On a different note, I've been reading Living Holiness by Helen Roseveare for Women in Missions and was struck by her chapter on repentance. She describes a time during her service in the Congo when the Holy Spirit stuck a church with great conviction. Following, there were countless cries and acts of repentance. What I was most surprised by was the nature of the sins for which these Congo natives were repenting. They seemed so small in my eyes! At the close of that chapter, I realized it had been quite some time since I'd asked the Lord to search my heart and point out any unconfessed sin...and the coolest thing happened. I sat in silence for five minutes, just FIVE minutes, and the Holy Spirit revealed 10 specific issues I needed to give up to him and ask forgiveness for. I knew it was the Spirit of Truth, for I did not feel laden with guilt or paralyzed with shame. On the contrary, I was swept over with a sense of gratitude and a desire to give up some of these old ways. Now, you may be curious what some of these sins were and let me just tell you that they probably would seem small and quite frankly, insignificant to anyone NOT inside my little, sensitive heart. But that's what is so magnificent about our Holy Spirit. He knows and works with each of us in ways tailored perfectly to our levels of understanding and tenderness.
With all that said, I am utilizing the Lenten season as a time to break a few bad habits, some of them being: wasting time with online TV shows and checking my email too often throughout the day. I am also partaking in the tradition of a meatless Friday, so as to remember Good Friday and the sacrifice of animal products in medieval times. This is a season I really look forward to because ultimately, it makes Easter a bigger deal; and Easter IS a big deal!