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by Ann Trapnell
Reflecting upon how I would observe Lent in 2021, I knew that one of the most common practices for observing Lent continues to be “Giving Up” or “Sacrificing”. It was during Lent 2020 that the true complexity of the Covid19 pandemic was revealed, and we all were required to Give Up or Sacrifice so much. How did I fill the extra time I was given during this extended Lenten season of sacrifice? Yes, I learned new things (crochet, zoom) and refocused on others (family, cooking, French) – but I also increased my daily worrying quotient dramatically. So, this Lent, I’ve decided to Give Up worrying. While I’m certain that does not sound like a sacrifice at all – in fact, who in their right mind wants to worry – I would argue that it is truly the hardest thing I have ever tried to give up. Worrying is the first thing I do when something is amiss in my life or the lives of those I love. Worrying is the first thing I do when I read the news. Worrying is what I do when I lay awake in bed at night. How will I react to so many things in life if worrying is off the table? Sacrificing worry means trusting God to carry me, guide me, support me and lead me through my troubles. To me, seeking the capacity to trust so deeply is what faith is all about. Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebration of Easter; fasting from worry seems to me to be the perfect way to prepare if it helps in my quest to trust and have faith.
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