Growing up, my mom would pluck my sister and me out of New York City for the summer. She’d take us to our summer cabin in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania. We’d spend the entire two-month summer vacation there. But one summer she had to work an extra two weeks, so she sent us somewhere else first. She sent us to church camp.
I am pretty sure it was because it was free and she was desperate for coverage while she was at work. I was young, maybe 8 years old, when one of the priests gathered us around to read from the bible, followed by a reenactment. I cannot tell you what we read, I honestly do not remember.
But I will never forget the lesson. Lucky me, I was called up to help. The priest asked me to squeeze a tube of toothpaste on a paper plate.
I did as I was told. Then, he told me to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
“Come again?” I looked at him, puzzled.
He went on to explain that it’s easier for things—bad actions, curse words, etc.—to be squeezed out than it is to take them back.
I can’t help but think of this on the first day of lent. While many of us will “give up” things for 40 days and 40 nights, some of us will also pick up things, like being kind and thinking more before we speak.
What are you doing this lent season? Are you giving something up? Are you picking something up?
Even if you’re not Catholic, are you using this time to transition into spring, by trying to break a bad habit like drinking too much or not being fully present? Let me know in the comments below 🙂