Monday, February 22, 2010

Thinking about Lent

This old girl grew up knowing nothing about the season of Lent. It wasn't until I was living in Louisville, where you have as many Catholics as Baptist that I began to learn about Lent. But really it wasn't until I became Methodist and worshiping churches that were liturgical and went by the lectionary that I really began to learn about Lent. But I can't say I really got into the Lent practices of fasting. Slowly I began to practice fasting or giving up something for Lent. I am like most people and have given up chocolate, being the chocoholic that I am. But I haven't really understood what I was giving it up for?

This year it seems like Lent snuck up on me before I knew it. I wasn't ready for it, hadn't planned my fast or what I was going to give up. So after Ash Wednesday I started praying about it, meditating, and listening to God. Wouldn't you know it that in the middle of the night I heard God speak to me about what I was to give up. The word that came to me was stress. I was going to give up stress for Lent. I knew it within my being that that was true. Why stress? Because it is something I easily fall into, it is my default mode, and it keeps me from God. How am I going to do it? I don't really know yet, and I am still trying to discern that. I do know that we have made some changes in worship that means I am preaching less and thus less stress on me of sermon preparation along with my other responsibilities. What will this mean? I am not really sure. I hope it means more openess between God and I.

Both Saturday and Sunday for the first time in a long time felt less stressful. I had more time for my kids and hubby. We went for walks and bike rides. Of course it helped that the weather cooperated. I really enjoyed it.

What about you, what are doing this Lent? How is it going for you?
image taken from


Sally said...

now that will be an interesting journey, hope you manage a stress free Lent Abi!

revhipchick said...

thank you for your thoughts. i haven't given up anything for Lent for some time because i have struggled to see how it draws me closer to God. i hadn't found what would matter.

yesterday i read something about British bishops asking folks to give up things that would decrease their carbon footprints. give up something and do an act of justice--that i can understand.

i also appreciate your question/prayers about what keeps me away from God? but am i brave enough to actually answer that question and follow through? i'm not so sure today.

peace be with you

John said...

A group at Duke Divinity School is trying to get people to be more intentional about the waste they produce. So a group of us have committed to carry reusable plates, cups, silverware and napkins rather than use paper or plastic products. It's been an interesting task so far.

Jill said...

I am working on giving up fear for Lent- fear of not having enough, fear of not being enough, fear of an uncertain future... you get the picture. I am hoping that as I preach it, I will learn it. It's going to take at least 40 days to undue a lifetime of fear(ing), but I'm looking forward to it.