Lent is coming to an end, and today, Good Friday, is a mournful day which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. Tomorrow is Holy Saturday, followed by the "super bowl" of the church year, Easter Sunday.
My faith is very important to me, although I don't write much about it on the blog. I'm not one to preach to others, as I think a relationship with God is very personal, and it's not my business to try to influence or change that. I was raised Catholic, and although I don't agree with all of its teachings, it's still my church of choice.
During the forty days of Lent, we are encouraged to give something up, in order to offer that sacrifice up to God. For the past few years, I have also chosen to "add" something to my life, to grow as a person in my faith. This year, thanks to a suggestion from Katie, I have been participating in a daily email devotional from Dynamic Catholic called Best Lent Ever.
On Thursday we were asked to write a "what if" letter to ourselves. As Matthew Kelly says in his book Rediscover Jesus,
"We all die, and yet, so often we conduct our lives as if we were going to live forever. If you knew you were going to die one year from today, how would you change your life? Why are you waiting? Life is short. Too often we take for granted next week and next month and next year. We make plans for the future, not knowing if that future will be given to us. God gives us life one moment at a time, and he wants us to experience life in every breath we take."This isn't a new concept for me, and over the course of my life I've written several "what if" letters in my head. But recently, beginning with the death of my father, I've really given it some serious thought. I often wonder if he would have lived his life differently had he known that his time on this earth was coming to an end.
As for me, what if I knew I only had one year to live? I would be kinder - to my family, my friends, and every person I met. I would slow down and enjoy each day, instead of planning for the next thing. I would surround myself with people who love me and only want the best for me. I would tell my friends and family how much I love them, every day. I'd quit caring about wrinkles and pounds and pants sizes. And I wouldn't spend one second worrying about the future, because that day would be here soon enough.
It's no coincidence that Easter occurs in the spring. It is a time of rebirth and renewal that happens through grace and faith. Easter presents an opportunity to learn from that rebirth and turn the "what ifs" into "right nows". And I plan to do just that.
Happy Easter Weekend!