A Time for Reflection and Better Connection

Lenten Reflection, Sunday, March 29, 2020

By: Macon Moring, a 9th Grader at St. Christopher’s School

When I was younger, I mainly thought of Lent as a season when I was supposed to give up something for forty days. I heard friends and family speak of giving up unhealthy foods so I did the same. As I have gotten older and more involved with my church, I have come to realize that Lent is about much more than just giving up an unhealthy habit; it is a time for reflection and a time to better connect with God’s holy Word.

Giving up a certain habit or food is a fairly common tradition of Lent that symbolizes Jesus’s sacrifice in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. I used to participate in this tradition as my only understanding of Lent, but now I look at Lent as something greater – a time for self-examination, reflection, and strengthening my relationship with God. However, I have learned valuable lessons through my experiences of giving things up for Lent. Eight years ago during Lent, I gave up eating McDonald’s. I haven’t eaten McDonald’s since. Four years ago, I gave up drinking soda. I rarely drink soda any more. Another year, I gave up chocolate. On Easter morning that year, I could not wait to open up some chocolate eggs. Looking back on these experiences, I realize that there are many things in life I do not need – fast food and soda for instance. Even though I may not need chocolate, I enjoy it enough that I want to continue eating it; however, I appreciate it much more now than I did before I gave it up for Lent.

The season of Lent this year feels very different to me as I assume it does for many people around the world. Many of us are giving up far more than we planned before COVID-19 became a part of our lives. We are giving up attending church, school, work, time with friends, travel, and, sadly, far too many people are giving up their lives. My hope is that this difficult time will bring us all together, make us truly appreciate what we do have, and allow us time to reflect on God’s holy Word and helping others instead of focusing on what we may be giving up.