Lent should involve a more spiritual sacrifice

As we approach both the Lenten and beach seasons, we forget all about our New Year’s resolutions and start worrying about spring break plans. We tried losing our “winter weight” through resolutions, but it is time for a new challenge: sacrifices. We hope that we can “sacrifice” an extra cookie at the BLUU to participate in Lenten promises as well as cut a few extra calories off our diet before we hit the beach.

Lent is to be a season of fasting, Christian growth, penitence and simplicity. It is the period leading up to Easter, recalling Jesus’ fast in the wilderness. As we give up our favorite treats and snacks, we feel better knowing we are sticking to our religious traditions as well as cutting out the unnecessary items in our diet. These sacrifices seem to be for a legitimate cause, even though they are insignificant in comparison to Jesus’ fast. But has anyone taken the time to see that we are giving things up in hopes of benefitting ourselves and no one or anything else?

It seems to be that as college students, we tend to focus more on social activities than on our spiritual relationships. This idea is reflected through the Lenten promises that most of us make, the ones that do not interfere with our selfish priorities. It is time for us to grow up and realize there is more to Lent than giving up sweets for 40 days. Lent is about thinking of the sincerely negative aspects of our lives and eliminating them from our daily routines. We shouldn’t think about giving up things that would better our appearances. It is a time in which we should participate in more meaningful sacrifices, such as sacrificing our time to help those who need us.

It is much too easy for people to eliminate something from their lives when they know it will lead to an ultimate benefit. However, it is much harder for them to serve someone else’s needs when they receive nothing in return. We must eliminate the things that hinder us from our spiritual needs and relationships with others.

Lent is our chance to do and learn something new about ourselves and others. Jesus set an example in which he hoped we would follow, and there is no time like the present to listen to his teachings. Spend the next 40 days sacrificing something that will help your life, not just your stomach.

Allison Branca is a sophomore strategic communication major from Houston.