Three cheers for Lent
My wife Debbie and I agreed about most things. However, Lent was one of those things we just did not see eye-to-eye on. I believe that Lent can be a fantastic time to jump-start our spiritual growth. Let’s just say that Lent was not Debbie’s favorite time of the year.
Maybe this has something to do with our different pasts. Debbie was raised in a Catholic family and giving up candy in favor of over-cooked fish was not part of her positive memories of the “good old days.” Since I was raised in a Jewish family, I did not have any childhood memories of Lent. So, when I came into the Unity movement back in the 1980s, Lent was like a blank slate that Unity authors could write on.
I was just really taken by Charles Fillmore’s book Keep a True Lent. In this work, the co-founder of the Unity movement does not suggest that we give up candy, dancing, rock-‘n-roll, or fun for Lent. What he advocates is that we give up “error thoughts” during this time before Easter. He defined error thoughts as ideas that no longer serve us and are, in fact, unproductive. They are thoughts that are holding us back in our spiritual growth. These thoughts could be:
- A sense of scarcity and lack,
- Thinking that anything good is going to be taken away from us,
- Resentments, anger, hatreds,
- Lack of belief and confidence in ourselves,
- Blaming our faults on other people, places, and things,
- You fill in the blank:___________________.
As we move into Lent, I will suggest specific ways we can eliminate error thoughts from our lives. I will draw on the advice of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, Eric Butterworth, Emmet Fox, Robert Brumet and many other leaders in the New Thought movement. Of course, I will mention suggestions made by Jesus and enlightened teachers from other traditions.
But for right now all I would ask you to do is just make a pledge to use this season of Lent to eliminate, or reduce, some of the strongest error thoughts that are holding you back. After you make that decision, I would ask you to write down three error thoughts that you can work on during this season of Lent.
Let me give you my three: temper, self-negativity, and some fears. These are three error thought areas where I have seen some positive growth, but I would like to use this time to experience even more growth.
Let’s take this journey together. Stay tune for more on this. As they said when many of us were kids: “Same Bat-time, Same Bat-channel.”