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.