Tomorrow is the final day of lent and so this seems like a good day to reflect back over the last 38 challenges. Click here for a recap of what they were. The challenges have been quite varied and have required different degrees of commitment to implement them into my life. Some were environmental, some community focused, some focussed on tackling poverty and some on faith But what brings them all together is that they are all positive changes; positive for myself and positive for people around me.
The most striking thing I’ve been aware of through doing these challenges is the fact that the way I choose to live directly affects the way in which others have to live. When picking up litter and recycling more, it affects the places that other people have to live in. When donating to MK Food Bank or giving blood, it directly helps other people and can even save their lives. When I choose to spend money on myself rather than give to charities, it means that those charities are less able to help others. When I act on my faith and follow the example of Jesus’ life, I’m inspired to live my life in a way that puts others first.
Jesus said ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ – the challenge to love our neighbour can be difficult but there is also the challenge to love ourselves. Some of the tasks that I’ve done over lent have been for my own benefit; (e.g. eating healthier, exercising more, taking a day off, looking for beauty in the ordinary. In order to help others we also need to help ourselves.
All that said, I wouldn’t say that my life has been radically transformed through these challenges. But I would say that I have significantly improved a number of aspects of my life. There’s still much more I’d like to change and I think it’s important for me to carry on trying, despite the fact I won’t always succeed. I believe that Jesus lived and died in a radically selfless way, which demonstrated his message of love and forgiveness from God. I hope that I can pass on this message of love and forgiveness through my words and the way I choose to live.
Count Your Blessings fact: in 2010 73% of the British population donated to charity
Task: Give thanks for the generosity that has been shown and the work that has been accomplished through it
(Joint) Running total: £37.84