Lent has come and I’m quite glad for it’s arrival. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate Lent more and more. It’s given me the opportunity to add disciplines to my spiritual life, set aside some good things in order to do other good things, and Journey with Christ on the way to the Cross. Lent has become, for me, a time of growth and renewal in a way no other season in the Christian year quite matches. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the celebration of the Easter season and the awe of Christmas – but as Lent begins I find myself taking permission to breathe. It’s a beautiful time.
I have noticed as I get older my introverted tendencies are becoming more pronounced. Crowds feel more draining, and busyness more oppressive. I still need to be in a crowd, lest I end up imploding on myself and becoming a recluse. I also still need to experience busyness, because it stretches me in ways I wouldn’t naturally tend to bend (figuratively speaking). Lent, though, is like an introvert’s dream season – an entire season which consists of largely holy introspection, and contemplative service. How many times during the year, either inside or outside the Church, do we say, “Hey, let’s do less and instead go deep?” It’s that permission to slow and reflect which makes me embrace the season of Lent so openly.
This year, I wrote a devotional for Central Baptist. This is going to be my added discipline for the season. I will be committing to do pursue this devotional at night before bed, when I’m typically catching up on news or puttering around on social networks (which I’ll be not accessing even the evening during Lent – though I need to explore how to turn off those notifications in Android). I’m also committing to keep the devotional journal in hand-written form (on my iPad – not even Lent will cause me to love writing on paper). Why hand-written? For the simple reason that it takes more time for me to write out my thoughts by hand. I can type out paragraph after paragraph without thinking, but writing my thoughts it is much different experience.
I would also like to add back in some exercise (a discipline I’d like to continue through the year following Lent). I went through Couch to 5k last year, and it went well – but allergy season hit me hard and I couldn’t keep up with running (which, try as I might, I simply don’t enjoy). I’m considering spending lunchtime on Monday, Wednesday, Friday exercising instead of eating a meal (yes, I’ve already missed today, I didn’t plan ahead enough). Either way putting my body to work will make me a better servant, so it’s a good discipline to keep up.
Welcome to Lent, read my blog less.