As many of you may know Wednesday, March 5 or Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is traditionally a 40-day period marked by fasting from foods and festivities as well as other acts of penance. More recently Lent has been used as a way or reason to give up a bad habit or an action that may seem as a vice. I often hear many people using Lent as a reason to give up chocolates, sodas and fast food or as a way to start becoming more involved by donating their time to others and spending less time on themselves.
Personally I have never been one to give up much for Lent. Perhaps this is because I have been selfish or maybe I never took the time to understand what Lent meant or why we were supposed to give something up but regardless I have never understood the reason. For the first time, however, I am beginning to understand that we aren’t supposed to give something up just for ourselves because that is just as selfish as continuing to do it in the first place. When giving up our habit or vice we are supposed to be doing this for those around us as well as ourselves. We are supposed to be giving up something we may enjoy to bring ourselves closer to our families, friends and God.
All of this has led me to give up my greatest vice and the habit most dreaded by my family and friends, smoking. It is nearly impossible to turn on the television or flip through a magazine without seeing advertisements warning of the dangers of smoking or anti-smoking products. So, I have known the dangers it poses to my health and my family but yet I have been unable to make the change from smoker to non-smoker. Therefore, I am using Lent, a time dedicated to giving up that which we enjoy to make us closer to our families and God, as a time for me to give up my greatest vice in order to prolong my life with my family. I hope to share with you in the coming weeks my progress as I start down the road to a healthier life.
By Clint Mix