Lenten Disciplines

It’s “The Thing” people ask you (if they are the church-going type):

What are you doing for Lent?

By this they mean, what are you giving up? (chocolate, booze, desserts, junk food) Or, what are you adding TO your life (exercise, daily reading, prayer, meditation).

The point of Lent is not to walk around with your ashes showing for 40 days. It’s intended to rekindle the spiritual fires within. To perhaps blow off the dust of former spiritual practices you found helpful. Or (if we are really honest) to get back to doing those habits which make us more compassionate and caring Christians.

It’s always a conundrum when I’m asked what I’ve chosen as my Lenten discipline. After all, I am in the profession of “professional clergy” (I guess) and so sometimes people are curious. And so I wonder… Do I TELL you what I want to try and do and then get annoyed with myself that I’ve failed by day 3? Or, do I keep it as a quiet, personal, solemn practice, sharing it with only a few.

This year, I’m going with the latter. I have made some choices which will help me physically, emotionally and spiritually — If I can managed to keep them up. You may get a peak at them if you hear “the whines between the lines.”

I’m actually attempting to walk this with Christ, and not share it with the entire internet — because always makes me feel like I’m asking you to participate in a sort of “holy TMI”!

In my reading in Scripture today, there was a lovely bit of exhortation to help me stay on my path:

Jesus said to everyone, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

All who want to come after me must say no to themselves…

NO
…to preferences, favorite hobby horses and distractions
…to temporary solutions to bigger problems
…to fostering selfishness
…to choosing my own way

YES
…to taking up my cross daily
…to following Christ

It’s a step – slow, steady, uncertain and stumbling – towards the woman God asks me to be.

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