by Bill Borror
“The purpose of Lent is not to force on us a few formal obligations, but to ‘soften’ our heart so that it may open itself to the realities of the spirit, to experience the hidden ‘thirst and hunger’ for communion with God.
We all have come to the point that after trying everything else to get our internet, computers, or phones to start working again, we simply must shut them down and reboot. The good news is that often does the trick. It’s not magic (even though most of us do not understand why it works). Sometimes addition by subtraction is the solution.
Lent invites us to deny our appetites a little to expand our hearts and lives for God. It is a temporary saying no to the good things of this life, to taste the better eternal things of Christ. It’s a rebooting if you would of our ordinary routines, to glimpse the extraordinary mysteries of God all around us, that we tend to miss in the course of our busy, nosey day-to-day existence.
I encourage each of you to consider giving up something you enjoy for Lent and setting aside the money that you would spend on that pleasure and donating it to those who are in need. Remember this is something done out of freedom and what you give up is totally between you and God. However, it can also be a corporate discipline done by a family, couple, or community. The very process of coming up with a mutually agreed upon sacrifice and then deciding on where to give the money can be a Lenten exercise in forbearance itself.
Perhaps even more important than giving something up for Lent, is that you consider taking on something. The following are a few suggestions:
- Try adding fifteen minutes of prayer and reading the Bible to your daily schedule.
- Read a book on Christian spirituality (i.e. Merton’s No Man is an Island.)
- Take an extra few minutes to look around at the beauty of creation.
- Look for the face of Christ in the people around you.
- Speak a kind word to a stranger or person in distress.
- Visit someone who could use encouragement.
- Add ten minutes of purposeful silence to your day-remember God is always there.
- Sermons available at http://www.residentexile.fireside.fm
- Website http://www.residentexile.com
- New Persuasive Words Podcast-http://www.npw.fireside.fm
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