Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ash Wednesday 2010

It is once again the lenten season, and this year, I thought I would take advantage of facebook and twitter to get some input on what people are doing for their lenten commitments. Of course feel free to read these blog posts from 2007-2009 to find out more about why I take time to examine my life during lent.

So people are giving up everything from red meat to sweets, and some are just drinking water so they can give the money they would have spent on other beverages to help make life better people in the developing world. Some are choosing not to eat out, or to maintain healthy habits like exercise. There are even a couple of people who are giving up snow (but there may be Someone else who has a say in that). It’s actually pretty cool to see so many people making commitments to yield areas of their life and practice self-control.

As for me, this year I’ve had a bit of difficulty. I mean the point of the lenten fast is to draw closer to Christ. We give up bad habits to know Christ better, or we commence new habits that help us draw more closely to Him. I’ve been trying to what things in my life distract me from knowing Christ more intimately, and I feel like it’s a little bit of everything, but none of it is essentially bad in and of itself. Part of the idea of lent is that we give up or add in order that we can better identify with Christ during his fast in the wilderness as well.

So here’s what I am thinking for myself this year. I think I’m going to attempt to make a habit of fixed hour prayer. In one sense, it’s nothing huge. I mean I’m not planning to spend 2 hours/day in prayer or read my Bible for 45 minutes or anything like that. Rather, I’m thinking about taking a few moments at 6AM, 9AM, noon, 3PM, and 6PM to just pause and reorient and center my life on Jesus. Just a few seconds—again it’s nothing huge like giving up soft drinks or caffeine, but my hope is that it will be pretty significant.

I don’t know if anyone can relate, but I feel like I can so easily get distracted during my day and miss out on the idea that whatever I do, I should do it with my whole heart and as an act of worship to God. Often, I find myself just doing tasks for the sake of people or organizations, or because they are good habits. I am also going to reduce my food consumption and do a partial fast during the week and increase my giving and service as I practice simplicity, but this year I just want to be intentional about knowing Christ better.

If you think of it, say a prayer for me as I strive to take a different tact with lent. I’m praying for you as I write this. My prayer is that if you participate in lent, regardless what you choose to add or take away from your life, that you would grow to be more like Jesus, and be more centered on Him.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great lent, maintain your commitments, and know Christ better!

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