Lent is just around the corner (literally) and I have been continuing to reflect on ways that my life with Christ is sustained and renewed by the Spirit. I am a creature of habits, and not all of them are good ones. Lent is a time to strip away the pretensions and renew that lifeline of peace, hope and faith that comes only from God.
As I reflected on “energy” during NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), I am more aware of what saps and renews it. Sometimes I can be bowled over by the beauty of the sunlight playing through the trees. Other times, my heart is restored through a well-crafted, soaring phrase in a Bach cantata. Sometimes I need to chew through a serious op-ed piece and figure out why it alarms/confuses/delights me. Beside these pursuits are my more serious studies in history (specifically the 1850s and the women’s rhetoric movement in upstate New York — yes I know that’s esoteric) or my continued struggle with issues of theodicy as a chaplain.
All this to explain why, when I’m handed a cookie-cutter spirituality program, I rebel. My internal life is not well-served by a carefully marketed and stratified “women’s devotional” guide. Kudos and blessings to you if it DOES work. But I find them, well, constricting. As they say on Facebook, “it’s complicated.”
So for a Lenten discipline these next few weeks, I am going to seek out three main disciplines for my reflection and renewal.
ARTISTIC: I’m going to participate in the Photo-a-Day prompts from rethinkchurch.org. These I will try and post.
WRITING: I’m using prompts from Rachel Hackenberg to craft daily prayers. (You can get her prompts via email if you sign up at her blog.) You may or may not get to read my responses. I’ll be using a journal.
READING: I’m following the weekly Lectionary readings here.
This is not just academic/intellectual reading and study (though I am trying to be more consistent). It’s my growing awareness of my need to continually process and work through what it “means” to be a Christ-follower in today’s society. Not easy. Not always seen. But so important.
It’s not a footrace; it’s a journey. I’ll probably miss days, fall and skin my knees, and then have days of revelation and encouragement. Feel free to join me in the journey.
9 But you are God’s chosen and special people. You are a group of royal priests and a holy nation. God has brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Now you must tell all the wonderful things that he has done. The Scriptures say,
10 “Once you were nobody. Now you are God’s people. At one time no one had pity on you. Now God has treated you with kindness.
I Peter 2:9-10 CEV