Lent is an interesting time of year that has become absorbed by culture. For some it is a time to spring clean their lives by giving up chocolate, red wine or some other fun but not so healthy practice. Others take a more positive step to take something up – work on a long uncompleted project, learn a new skill, read a book. Tonight at Midweek Worship we are going to consider different options for Lent. An idea I am toying with is whether or not we lay something down for the time of Lent – is it possible to lay down a responsibility for Lent and use the time to focus on another element of our lives? Many people are so busy in this world – yet we rarely stop to see what we are doing because we are so busy doing. Is it possible to say that for the next 6 weeks I will take the time I usually spend running round like a headless chicken to sit down and work out how I spend my time? Reading this I suspect many will say – no chance. There is always stuff to do and it is impossible to take a break. But do our children need to go to every social club – can we spend the hour together playing board games? I don’t write this lightly for even as I type it I wonder if it is possible to say No.
I have set myself a 40 day challenge to read more and to put up a short reflection each day on the blog. I doubt I will succeed but I want to try. I have also given up comfort eating – trust me – if you knew how much cake I have been putting away recently you would be shocked. Giving up comfort eating is for my health, and challenging how I cope with the difficult times. Spiritually I am following a Lent book and from it I will put up my musings. Perhaps I can develop some healthy spiritual behaviour as well for I am conscious in this busy world – work (even religious work) and family responsibilites drain the spiritual reserves.
Jesus went into the desert and often went off by himself to pray as well as worked with thousands of people in need. And if it is good enough for Jesus Christ, it has to be good enough for me.
“Blessed are those who are poor in spirit; to them belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
Please share your Lent journeys with us if you wish.
Loving God, we thank you for this time of penance and preparation as we prepare ourselves for Easter. Whatever we have decided to do for Lent, help us be true to it – not just for our physical and mental health, but for our spiritual health. May we use the learning curve to remember that we are yours and on you we rely. And when we fail, lift us up and lead us forward. Bring us into a deeper relationship with you. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.