Back to the basics for Lent

One of the most obvious differences between UTD and Baylor, my alma mater, is that Baylor is a Baptist, private school while UTD is secular and public. I honestly don’t think much about the difference between going to a religious versus secular school, but sometimes the difference is in-your-face.

This past week, I had one of those moments. Wednesday was the beginning of Lent — Ash Wednesday. While I didn’t exactly expect the campus-wide services that marked the date at Baylor, I was slightly astounded by the sheer number of people who had no idea what Ash Wednesday was.

The season of Lent stems from the 40 days Jesus spent fasting and praying in the desert. It culminates on Palm Sunday right before Holy Week and the end of it, Easter.

As contrary as it sounds, however, it’s a really nice start to the Lenten season and a pull back to basics.

I’ve tried giving up many things for Lent, heck, I’ve even tried giving up coffee. But I think for the first time, in a long time, I’m reminded of why I do this every single year. Here, my faith isn’t handed to me on a silver platter. It isn’t evident every time I turn my head. But I think that’s what makes it even more real.

Last year for Lent I did 40 days of gratitude. This year, my Lenten promise is back to basics — back to the basics of my faith and back to the basics of who I am. If it sounds vague, that’s probably because it is. I’m allowing my faith to guide me during this season of repentance wherever that journey may lead.

Catholic or not, Lenten observer or not, I would encourage everyone to go back to the basics and enjoy the simple things in life. Happy Lent.

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