40 days. 40 out of 365 a year. . . if we round it down, basically 1/9th of the year. That's the length of Lent, which begins today. 1/9th of a year. Not really that much - but for some people Lent seems SOOOO long.
I tend to like Lent. It is a time of introspection and self-examination, and I tend to be a bit of an introspective fellow. Lent is the time of year when most pressures to be happy or wild or what have you go away. Seems a honest time to me.
But Lent is not a sad time - I think we should think of it as a time of boldness. Beholding Christ's fight against sin and Satan, we are emboldened to spend time facing down our sin with renewed earnestness. We are emboldened to strive for more bodily discipline. We are emboldened to see just how vile our sin is - and why? Because Christ is striding towards the Cross for us -- he's seen all of our warts, our disease, our failings. And still He goes to the Cross for us.