Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What I'm Doing for Lent

I am not following my own advice. I told my congregation to take up ONE thing for Lent. And then I told them last night to maybe also think of something meaningful to give up. I'm doing both...and something else. In my defense, the practice added and the thing given up are both really specific and concrete, and the something else is more over-arching. But anyway.

I'm adding: giving thanks before I eat. Sitting in front of me is a 3/4 eaten grapefruit for which I forgot to give thanks. Doh. That's why I'm adding it--I tried and failed last year. I'm trying again.

I'm taking away: the snooze button. This may make for my most difficult Lent yet. It may sound frivolous, but I've gotten into the habit of hitting snooze for about 2 hours. Those are two hours I had other plans for--like reading the Bible and exercising--that get pushed aside when I press that button. So, in the interest of self-care, when the alarm goes off, the only button I can hit to stop it is "off," so I'd better get up if I don't want to oversleep.

And finally, I've signed up to participate in the Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast. My over-arching focus for Lent is giving up carbon--or at least giving up some. Today, I'm using the natural light let in by my window for as long as possible in my office. I've brought an extra sweater to avoid turning up the heat. I'm buying lunch, but I'll walk the mile or so to get it, rather than drive (which will also help burn off last night's Shrove Tuesday pancakes). I have an Ash Wednesday service tonight at church, so I'll stay at the office late to avoid another round trip home. Soon I should be able to ride my bike to work again.

Lent is about paying attention, becoming aware, lengthening (the root of Lent) the amount of time we focus on God.

So for the next six weeks, I will pay attention to how fortunate I am to be eating the bounty brought forth by God and the hard work of humans. I will lengthen the amount of time to do God's work by getting up when my alarm goes off. And I will become aware of how my actions and lifestyle affect God's creation.

How are you observing Lent?

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1 comment:

  1. I haven't decided yet! This year I have a new church home (temporarily) and have been really getting involved with the providing vocal music during the offertory. It's been a great way to give back! I've been thinking of may be being more prayerful, but something more concrete would be a better idea. I'm not sure what to give up as I'm in a huge state of flux searching for a new job and stressed about the idea of may be having to move again.