Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

Currently in the Christian faith, we are in a season known as Lent.  Lent is historically a mourning period as we anticipate the death of Jesus. It begins 46 days prior to Easter on a Wednesday known as Ash Wednesday because during Biblical times wearing ashes was a sign of mourning. Ash Wednesday is preceded by Shrove Tuesday, which is known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras represents the final party and indulgence of our flesh before we enter the mourning and self-denial period of Lent.

During Lent we are encouraged to fast and pray as we prepare for the death of Jesus.  Christians are also encouraged to be more intentional in our studies and devotions. Lent ends on or around Easter, depending on your tradition. Most people give up certain foods, television, social media, or music. While others commit to reading the Bible faithfully or volunteering more during Lent.

While Lent may be a traditionally Christian observation, the principles of fasting and self-denial can be applied to anyone. We can all benefit from a period of abstaining from unhealthy habits, addictions, and distractions to focus and gain clarity on our life’s direction. During this time of Lent, I encourage all to stop and think about the things distracting us and use this period to refrain from them. Take the next 40 days to focus on an area that needs improvement and see how much you have changed by the end. The results will amaze you!