The traditional time of Lent has begun leading up to Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter day. In past years, many of us would think about what we will ‘give up’ for lent, and maybe even spend some time in prayer and fasting. However, most of these practises are not observed these days, they seem to belong to a past era.
In my teen years, I visited John, a long time school friend, his father was very ill and in fact, was close to the end of his life. It was my first close encounter with someone who was actually dying, and as a teenager I had no idea what to say, and so bluntly asked him if he was dying. His reply was profound and has stayed with me down the years. He answered me, “Lennie, it’s my time to stocktake my life and get myself ready to meetGod”.
Ever since that time, I think of Lent as a time to stocktake, a time to take a look at my life and habits, and ask whether they serve both myself and others in ways which are helpful and loving and healing.
To stocktake doesn’t mean we are to be unduly harsh with ourselves and become disappointed, or even depressed, but it is rather an opportunity to come before God and reflect on our lives in his loving presence. Perhaps you too might use this time of Lent to stocktake on your life, and with God’s help make some changes.