Lent is bearing down upon those of us who observe the church year, which leads me to ponder: from what do I need to fast? I always preach, the point of Lent is to draw near to God. Hopefully we are always doing this; I think that’s what prayer is about, truly the meaning of life is to be in close relationship with our creator. But Lent is a time set apart to practice special disciplines, to be more mindful, to give to those in need.
I have found several out-of-the-box ideas:
- Pray the Daily Office
- An intriguing list from Pastor Nadia Bolz Weber
- A photo-a-day challenge (or post each day, a picture of something for which you’re grateful)
- A calendar/list from Busted Halo
- A bracket for the sporty among us
- From a youth director friend, weird things to give up for Lent
I’ve also been thinking about some sort of a fast from screen-time (phone, TV, computer): after dinner, or one day a week.
So, it being Shrove Tuesday, I need to commit. Last year I didn’t do much for Lent, and I missed it. But I fear failure. Hmm. Fast-pray-give.
What sparked my interest was the photo-a-day challenge; it will get me posting regularly on the blog and it sounds fun. I want to get more poetry in my life, so I’m taking up Good Poems each day. I have a quarter folder from St. Luke’s, I’m not sure who the $10 goes to, but it will be fun to collect the quarters. This shouldn’t be about Lent, but perhaps I’ll finally make that donation to Planned Parenthood in honor of my friend Marta who passed away last fall. I’m also going to do the one-day-a-week screen fast, and I’m choosing Sundays, though I’m exempting TV (Downton Abbey!), and focusing on computer/phone issues. Finally, I’m going to fast from … wait for it … caffeinated coffee. This will begin with a tapering, so I don’t expect to be fully decaf until next week sometime. I think I will sleep better, and I do have an abundance of herbal teas to enjoy.
Again, the point of doing something different is to refocus energy into one’s relationship with God. Turning that energy into being and doing for my neighbor sound like a wonderful late-winter project.