Thursday, February 02, 2012

Lenten Discipline

I've been pondering lately what to take on as my discipline for Lent this year. In past years I've fasted and prayed during lunchtime, and last year I gave up alcohol, which was a healthy thing since I was coming out of a very high-stress period. It dampened March Madness just a tad though...

I like to do something different every year, picking something that will really challenge and strengthen me where I'm at in my life at that moment. I've found that my experience of God's presence is much more profound if I do that.

This defining characteristic of this particular season in my life is busyness. I'm working a lot more hours at Arlington than I did at Bethlehem (in many ways this is a good thing, which is probably the subject for another post), and this will especially be the case this Lent, as we're working toward the launch of our yet-to-be-named Alternative Worship Service at Arlington.

So while I can't give up busyness altogether for Lent, I can do something to intentionally slow down the tempo. I'll be making it my daily practice to take some time each morning (usually first thing when I get to the office) to read and meditate on the day's entry from Lent and Easter Wisdom from Thomas Merton.

This book is produced by the Merton Institute for Contemplative Living, whose retreats and programs have been a great blessing to me during some very difficult times.

The reason I'm talking about this on the blog is that I'll post my reflections each day (well, most days), and I invite you to join me. Click the link above to order the book, and if you're so inclined, share your reflections and reactions in the Comments section. We could form a virtual small group doing this together.

That's what I'll be doing. How about you? Sound off below and share what, if any, Lenten discipline you've selected and why, or why you choose not to do so, if you're comfortable sharing that. All opinions are welcome, but please be respectful of others. No judgments or condemnations here.

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