Each Lent, I am inspired to change my life significantly, draw closer to Christ, and well, become as saintly as possible. I make heartfelt promises to myself and God, commit to a new way of being, and attempt to sacrifice several earthly comforts. Then, about two weeks into Lent, my inspiration wanes. Some life “obstacle” makes my commitment difficult to keep. I become weary or feel my disciplines are ineffective. I know it’s simply my lack of perseverance and my need for immediate results that cause me to falter.
This Lenten season I will be offering, “Living Lent Lightly- Disciplines for the Easily Distracted or Discouraged.” (If you recognize yourself here, we are kindred spirits!) Each day there will be a new, focused discipline for us to consider and keep for that day. There will also be a short inspirational passage with thoughts to ponder and questions to challenge us. And for those of us who are easily distracted, there will be a small, simple token to carry with us as a tactile reminder of our focus for the day. Ideally, if you would enjoy setting up a visible sacred space- on your desk, on a home altar, or even on your table- you may place your item there each day. (I will also have a photo of each item that you may use as a wallpaper or desktop screen on your phone or computer.) Do whatever works best for your lifestyle!
I am not making light of Lent, or of the life and sacrifice Jesus endured to show us the love of God. One could never live a day worthy enough to repay Jesus for all he has done! I am thinking lightly about myself. I often picture Jesus shaking his head and chuckling at me when Lent begins, when I’m setting my discipline goals in earnest. He knows me too well. He knows I will give up. It is my hope that these daily, incremental nudges may prove to be more life-changing for me, as I humbly realize how desperately I need the merciful love of Christ. And perhaps that is what Lent should do.
I am so thankful for you Lenten journey! I introduced you to a friend whom God brought to me in a support group for AD for our husbands. Though my beloved husband went home, hers is still here and our friendship has grown. She loves your blog also and is learning to have a separate life, letting Jesus lead the way!
Oh, Patricia, you have such a gift of encouragement! Thank you for letting me know, and for including your friend. I am sad to hear that you both have had trials with your husbands’ illnesses and, for you, the loss of your husband. I can feel your hope and joy in spite of your difficulties- your faith shines through! I will be holding you both in prayer today. Thanks again, my new friend!