CANON JOHN DRAPER: It's time to stop, think and reflect
The rector of St Mary's Church, Rowner, says Lent is about more than simply giving something up
We are now approaching the middle of Lent and I hope that those who are observing it are enjoying it.
It may seem odd to think of enjoying oneself during a time of abstinence from your favourite food or drink, or if you have given up something specific like chocolate or alcohol for Lent.
Although that can be healthy, I like to think that Lent has a deeper meaning for us than simply giving something up.
Lent can be very useful as a period of inner reflection when we get to grips with our souls and minds.
Because we are too busy in life generally, we don’t often take the time and care to think through issues in our lives and within our families.
I would like to recommend finding the time for a short period each day away from your family and friends, unless you choose to reflect within a group, to think about your life in general.
We can think about how much we eat and, if we are healthy enough, each day fast from food and drink for a little while.
We can think about what we spend our income on, whether we can cut out the flippant spending which we can control ourselves and then give some money each week to a charity or worthy cause.
We can cut back on the watching of television or listening to the radio and spend some time reading a classic novel or a religious book.
We can think about poor and homeless people and always make a point of trying to help them.
If you feel uncomfortable giving money to those begging in our High Street, one helpful suggestion is to buy £2 gift cards from Greggs, so they can buy themselves some food.
We can think about how we treat our neighbours, friends and family. Are we gracious to them and free with the time spent with them?
Stop. Think. Reflect. God gave us our brains and our emotions to use for the common good.
St Mary The Virgin Church is 174 Rowner Lane, Gosport. Call the church on (023) 9258 1834 or go to rownerparishchurch.org.