Tuesday, February 24, 2009

bring it on lent!

I've been scurrying around since January trying to get all of the pieces in place for Lent. And tomorrow, the season begins. This weekend it dawned on me that though the worship program I lead is nearly ready for Lent to begin, my heart is not. So, I've been thinking about what Lent is going to look like for me this year. What am I going to give up? What do I want to add? For me, Lent is a time to give up something that keeps me from or hinders my relationship with God. I know a lot of people who give up coffee, chocolate or dessert, not that those are bad things to give up, but currently they aren't keeping me from growing in relationship with the Lord. I remember reading a story shared by Lauren Winner. She is an avid reader, and one year the Lord asked her to give up reading for the season. For her, this was what consumed her time and what kept her from communing with the Lord. A few years ago, I gave up secular music for Lent, and then decided to give up all music for Holy Week. I could play piano and sing, but I couldn't listen to anything that wasn't live. It was a quiet week. And, it was a really rich Lenten season.

So, this year -- the question has remained for a couple of days -- what am I going to give up? I had already decided to give up listening to music while driving (which I do a lot of) when I read this blog post and this blog post both by Anne Jackson. Because I hanging out here on my blog actually draws me closer to the Lord, I'm not going to give it up. However, I've decided along with music during car rides Facebook needs to go. I'm honestly not looking forward to the loss of this piece of communication. It can be a useful tool in ministry as well as keeping up with my friends who have moved all over the country. However, it is also a time waster that sucks up hours that I should be spending with our Lord.

So...there it is. Once this is posted, I guess I can't change my mind. But that's ok. Bring it on Lent! And, bring it on Lord! I'm looking forward to seeing what He will do in me as clear out a little technological clutter during these next 40 days.


So what are you going to give up? Any stories from past fasts? I fear the Western Church doesn't encourage this spiritual discipline enough....

1 comment:

  1. This is a really thoughtful post on the sorts of things that are helpful to give up as a discipline and why. I forwarded it to my Sunday School class. I'm still thinking through how I want to apply these principles this season, but I've come up with a few things, one of which for me was limiting my facebook intake to once a day. (Pathetic, I know!) And the result, day 1, is interesting--instead of feeling vaguely guilty about wasting time I felt like it was sanctioned fun. God gives us refreshing rest & enjoyment when we seek it from him in wisdom instead of trying to absentmindedly milk it from the world without being conscious of it as a gift.