Everytime I think of Lent, I can't help but remember when we lived in Buffalo, NY that everyone thought my dad was talking about Lint in your belly button not the season of Lent. This is one of those words that in the south people say them the exact same way, but some how in the north they can pronounce these two words to sound differently. Personally, I just think they are supposed to sound the same, like Ginny and Jenny. But I have been told I am wrong. But Lent is more than just an issue with accents.
As I have been preparing how to approach these lenten devotionals I have promised so many, I feel like I am trying to work on an impossible project. The Advent devotionals came so much easier to me, it's so easy to write about your favorite christmas songs and the joys that surround advent. Advent is a time of waiting and I guess my patience has grown from working with these kids, so maybe that is why it was easier to write those devotionals. Lent is hard, its more vague, people go about observing Lent in various ways, it makes you focus inward on ourselves, its makes us vulnerable. Each year I try to give something up for Lent, and I try to be more reflective and observant. I feel like each year I fall short, I get too busy and loose sight of Lent. Last year I decided I was not even going to bother giving something up because I knew I wouldn't last. This year I have to make a change and really observe Lent.
When it comes to our lives we get so caught up in the hustle of life, of the everyday to-do list, our life plans and the pressures of a consumer society. We run from silence because we're afraid of being alone with God. So, like Jesus, we need to take some serious time to pray and figure out where God is in our lives, and where God is calling us to serve. We need to re-focus our lives to be more in line with God.
So somehow through the next 40+ days of devotions I am going to stretch myself to be vulnerable to God and take some serious time to be in silence, pray, figure out what God wants for me and also to re-focus my life.
Below are some links to blogs/websites with ideas on things you can give up for lent, add for lent, or just ways to observe. So as we prepare for Ash Wednesday tomorrow, let us stop and be still and listen to God and see how he wants us each to observe this season of Lent.
Tomorrow I will post some more practical Lenten ideas.