Millions of people are getting in their last partying before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, a much more serious time when ashes are applied with the traditional words, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return."
Before we turn to dust and blow away, what good are we going to do in this world? The forty days of Lent create a season to positively answer that question since it's a time focused on spiritual growth and simplicity-a kind of spring cleaning.
Simply giving something "up" for Lent-like candy or alcohol or TV-might be a good thing. But it's more useful to give something "back" through positive acts of mercy and charity, helping the poor, doing volunteer work, giving a helping hand to family and friends who are in difficult situations. We can use this time to take stock of the values we promote and how we live our lives.
What will each of us give back rather than give up? That decision is up to each of us. I hope that this Lenten season becomes a time of spiritual discipline and reflection on what really creates the good times.
This is Roy Lloyd.
[Originally presented as a commentary on 1010 WINS Newsradio, New York, NY]
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