5 Ways You Can Prepare for Lent Now
By Nick P.
While it may seem like it’s early to talk about Lent, especially since we just finished with the Advent/Christmas season, I believe it’s the best time.
Why do I think that?
We just finished up celebrating the coming of our Lord into the world. Regardless if you think the date is right or wrong, it’s the time of year that we designate our celebration of Jesus coming into the world, and it’s what we just focused on.
That being said, the time in which we celebrate Easter is always in flux. Each year brings a new date to Easter, and with it it’s 40 day journey that we call Lent.
What most people do is wait until the last moment to decide what they are going to do about Lent.
This year, wouldn’t it be nice to go into Lent with a clear plan on what you’re going to do, rather than wait until the last minute?
I know that each year, even though I know it’s coming, Lent seems to catch me off guard, and that’s rather disappointing.
Instead of giving some serious thought to Lent, I wing it.
No, you’re not alone in that.
So I thought that it would be better for us to go through a process that would help us prepare for Lent now, so when the time comes, we aren’t scrambling.
Instead, we can immerse into the period, and truly grow our faith as we approach Easter.
So here are the 5 ways that I plan on preparing for Lent now, and hope they will help you on your journey.
What are you looking to gain from this period of Lent?
This is a question that I have been asking myself, and feel that it’s a good question to ask.
I think it helps us to focus on a reason, and although that may seem selfish,
I do believe that God wants us to gain something from this period of time, so we can become closer to Him. So think about this question, pray about it, and write down what comes to you through that prayer.
Find a study to help you dive deeper into Scripture.
A few years ago I was blessed to lead a study group to dive deeper into Scripture, kicking off the first night on Ash Wednesday.
It was a scary moment for me because I had not led something like that before.
However, I feel that I got out of it more than those who attended the study, because I heard things that I would not have thought of, from the same piece of Scripture.
So if you can, I recommend looking for a group to share with, and if you cannot find one, make one happen for you and a small group.
Start planning out your meals if you are going to fast from a food item during this period.
Seriously, there is nothing more frustrating than the day before deciding that you are going to give up some food item and there is a ton of it in the house.
If you are going to commit to giving up something that you eat, make sure you don’t have temptation in the house by having a supply readily available during Lent.
Plan it now, and see how you can rid yourself of the food items you are going to abstain from during Lent.
This way, you set yourself up to be more successful on ridding yourself of the temptation.
Instead of just ‘giving up’ something, find ways to give into something.
Find a charity or a cause that you believe in, and give whatever monies you would normally spend on that thing you gave up and give to that instead.
You can just tithe extra to your church, and they will appreciate it, but think of other ways you can give that money.
For me, I am thinking local food bank, where with a small amount of money, they can feed people in need.
You decide now so that it’s part of the routine.
Giving up something doesn’t mean just food.
While I do plan on fasting during Lent, I am also thinking of how I can help myself while helping others.
For that, I plan on having a basket to put a piece of clothing in a day for the entire Lent journey.
By the end of Lent, I will have a full basket to give to my local church to help those who need clothes, and will also have more space in the closet, by giving up clothes that either no longer fit me, or that I just don’t wear anymore.
These 5 things are what I am doing to prepare for Lent now, so that when Ash Wednesday comes, I am prepared to just immerse into the Lenten journey, and help myself foster a deeper relationship with Christ.
I have one extra thought I want to share with you.
When you are planning and preparing for Lent now, don’t make it something easy.
It has to be a challenge.
For example, I can’t go into Lent saying “I’m going to give up sodas for Lent.”
That’s cheating, because I don’t drink sodas.
However, if you drink sodas on a regular basis, giving up soda for Lent may be a real challenge.
After all, the price Christ paid on the cross is worth making it a challenge.
So what are you going to do to start to prepare for Lent now? It may seem like it’s so far away, but having a plan and preparing for it now will help you to find peace with the decision.
I’d love to hear more about what you are doing to prepare for Lent, so if you feel called to do so, please comment below.
Peace be with you.