It has been placed on my heart recently to do some reflecting on various spiritual disciplines throughout Lent. One of the reasons is my recent rebelliousness of not giving something up for Lent. I have found that when I give something up for Lent that it doesn’t help me focus on God more but rather it distracts me. Instead of focusing on God I find myself focusing on how much I miss the thing I have given up.
So I am changing the rules. Instead of giving something up for Lent I am taking something on.
And when I say that I mean taking on a spiritual discipline such as:
Something I have started doing recently is keeping a prayer/study journal.
On the left is my Bible. The book on right is a leather bound journal for taking notes during scripture reading and meditation. The white paper in the middle is my prayer list that I update often. All of this is contained in a canvas Bible cover with storage compartments for writing utensils and other items. This is super easy to carry around with me and use as needed. If a prayer request comes my way I make sure I immediately write down the name, date and circumstances…and also make sure I follow up. I do this through personal visits, Facebook messages, email or phone calls.
I have found that this discipline has drawn me closer to God and closer to others as I work through this prayer list. Something else I am starting is praying through the church membership list; a couple names/families at a time.
But this is not just a Lenten discipline…this is something I plan to maintain after Lent is done. You see…the old Lenten rules said that when Easter arrived you could STOP giving up what you gave up and begin indulging in what you had deprived yourself of for 40 days (not counting Sundays). The NEW rules encourage you to continue what you began.
Don’t give it up after Lent…keep it up. Let it become a daily ritual for fostering and nurturing your relationship with God.
So there you go…the NEW rules:
Don’t give up but take on and continue. Pretty straight forward.
What are you going to take on?