Reluctant Lent Participant

I’ve always been a reluctant (read: inexperienced) Lent participant.

My family and church never made a big deal out of fat Tuesday and the subsequent 40 days up until Easter. And don’t get me wrong, they were right not to emphasize this ritual as a tenant of faith. But I do think the practice of Lent is a discipline which can breathe spiritual life into the monotony (and frankly the self-centered focus) of our lives.

And so as I sit here munching from a bag of chips, I decided to commit myself to participating in Lent this season. And by Lent I don’t mean just giving up soda (who drinks that stuff these days…?). That’s not refocusing your life.

Beginning tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, the next 40 Days will be dedicated to:

prayer
REGULAR BIBLE READING (I’ve been trying to make it through my Bible more consistently and have been scrambling to keep up. The goal is to read something spiritually encouraging and focused on God daily — even if it’s right before bed).

-fasting
FRUIT SNACKS (giving up decadent snacking in favor of fruits and vegetables. I don’t intend to diet for my meals, but I have recently noticed that when I’m hungry between meals, I tend to grab a small handful of chocolate chips or tortilla chips to satisfy my craving. Smothering toast in peanut butter is another one. Instead, I’m going to stock up on apples, bananas, oranges, mangoes, etc and use that time to think about what God’s created — Fruits and Vegetables).

-almsgiving
COMPASSION FOR OTHERS (by this I mean to be more aware of those around me; be gentler in my conversations; speaking less about myself, more about them, and devoting more energy to serving others rather than myself. Working on καρισ).

I only share these things so that I can encourage you all as you  hold me accountable — or join me! I’ll need the accountability as always.

Love and καρισ this lovely Tuesday,
Shannon

PS: Accomplished 9.5 miles yesterday without getting winded — only 3 weeks out from our March 17 half-marathon!

PPS: This Song has been on repeat on my computer all day. Musically it’s definitely different (the band’s from Iceland). But lyrically it’s deep. It’s about a couple with fading memories in their old age. The chorus: “Though the truth may vary, this ship will carry our bodies safe to shore.”

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One thought on “Reluctant Lent Participant

  1. Excellent post! You make a very good point about the usefulness of lent as a spiritual discipline, even for those of us who do not consider it a tenant of the faith. As someone who has paid very little attention to lent over the years, it was a good reminder.

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