Since the 1st of March, the Lenten season began. In Christendom, Lenten season is that period of 40 days where Christians are encouraged to observe sober reflection and adopt positive lifestyles in preparation for Easter, which marks the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This period of 40 days helps us purge ourselves by taking up lifestyles that should/would make us better persons in every ramification.
The church (don’t ask me which church o) teaches us that the cardinal pillars during the Lenten period is Fasting, Prayer and Almsgiving. Thinking about this lately and discovered that it could have been anything, but anything has been summarised in to these 3 basic christian works. I would love to call them “Works of Faith”.
Prayer – yes we pray. Don’t you? Lol. The bible even says we should pray in season and out of season. Why is prayer specially mentioned in this season? I guess it is because the real focus of this season is on God, and since prayer is that moment we give ourselves time to reach out to God, then we should do it more often and more consciously this period.
Almsgiving – on my way to where ever everyday, I see A, B, C even D, F and so on on the streets asking/begging for money - some with obvious physical challenges, others looking as normal as you. Truth be told, I hardly give anything to any of them because of reasons I am not sure of now. The last time I remember giving one money (I think it was fifty naira or so) was on a pedestrian bridge at Ikeja. This cripple young man was religiously sweeping the stairs we able people had littered.
The church encourages that we do more and improve on our giving habit. It mustn’t always be to the beggar on the road but there are neighbours, family members, colleagues, groups, organisations etc that are in need of that assistance we can render… lets not think twice about it all the time, especially when we can afford it – it could be in material form, financial form, and even our time, as the case maybe.
Fasting – Heheheeee… wondering why I am laughing? I am laughing at myself, because telling me to fast is like telling me to stop breathing **cover my face** Maybe I am exaggerating shaaa…lol. But seriously, I can’t remember when last I consciously fasted, so I am not going to come here and start talking as though I know anything about it.
I told myself I would fast last week even if it meant me skipping breakfast… I tried small shaa, lol. See… the biggest problem you would have if you are fasting is to be inactive or stay sober. Worst still is if you now somehow find yourself in an environment where the air is always filled with delicious aroma (that type that you don’t even need to eat the food, you will just belle-full…lol). Where I work, there is this Chinese restaurant in front. Beside that restaurant is Sweet Sensation. Now, adjacent my office is The Place fast food. Omo! Come and fast na and survive. I even have colleagues that all this fasting things is the least thing on their mind… come and see the kind of food they would have for breakfast or brunch… chisoooos! I have die.
This is a new week, I will not give up on fasting no matter the temptation. I will try small small and see how far I can go. Apart from the spiritual benefits, I am sure I will loose some weight, I will be delighted to. While I see how it goes this 2nd or is it 3rd week of lent, I encourage you too to challenge yourself and try observe these 3 arms of lent (Prayer, Fasting and Alms-giving). It won’t kill you, I assure you, it will only help you in ways you may not be able to imagine now.