Historically, Lent has been observed by Christians in memory of the struggles and temptations of the wilderness. Lent became a time for self-examination and repentance, a time for looking at ourselves and seeing the direction our lives are taking us.
Are you happy with the direction your life is going? Do you feel your lifestyle is leading you into a deeper relationship with God or to a deeper dependence on the things of this world? Now is the time for us to make changes, do a little course correction, and alter the way we live to put more focus on God, His love, and His plan for us. God is forgiving, and so we ask for His forgiveness and ask for the strength to make changes in our lives. In this way, we can live toward a better place, a better peace.
Lent is also a time for us to forgive others. In ages past, it was a time when notorious sinners were reconciled to the Church and accepted back into the fold. So it is a time when we repent of our own sin and move back into God’s plan for us, as well as a time when we forgive others and help them reenter God’s plan for them.
Reconciliation is not always God’s will, but forgiveness is. Every time we pray the Lord’s prayer, we ask to be forgiven and for the strength to forgive others. Let Lent be a time when you put down the burdens you carry on your heart – forgive someone whom you need to forgive. Lay aside your anger and pick up God’s love. Put down the yoke of this world, and pick up the yoke of Christ, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light.
Take this lent to reorient your life even more fully toward God: forgive and be forgiven.