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 CartoonChurch.com

4 comments:

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.