Wednesday, February 17, 2010

LENT - DAY 1 (ASH WEDNESDAY)

A few observations as I begin to attempt a 40-day spiritual journey.  Can I stay focused that long?

So, I confessed in my last post that I have some ambivalence about observing or practicing Lent.  Whatever my misgivings or hesitations, I'm in.  I intend to walk this 40-day journey.

This morning, I posted on Twitter and Facebook: "So Lent begins. 40 days. Ignore it. Play along. Or take the opportunity for extended, gut-wrenching focus on who we follow, why, where, how."  Proud of getting all that in 140 characters.  Ha!  I like the 140-character challenge.  Wordsmiths and word lovers would!

The bigger challenge for me, of course, is staying focused on ANYTHING for 40 straight days. I'd prefer to feign ADD during Lent, just to excuse my occasional lapses.  Seriously, I'm not good at this sort of discipline.  I dabble, explore, find a gem, and move on.

One reason is I really haven't found a resource or practice that directly grabs me and holds my focus.  Many have been helpful, but none have captivated me.  That's an excuse, but it's happened in the past.  Just sayin.'

So, starting with this post, I'll try to record this year's 40-day journey.  I journal enough; maybe this is the place to stay focused, keep accountable.  Check me.  If I don't post, e-mail me (johnhayjr@sbcglobal.net) and remind me.

Another reason I lose focus mid-Lenten journey is our annual family excursion/vacation to Breckenridge, Colorado.  I get out there and on a Rockie Mountain high and the way of the cross is just eclipsed.  Is there a way to enjoy a vacation and snowboard myself silly and keep Lent?  Gotta try.

I didn't go to an Ash Wednesday service this morning.  I did meet with my group of friends around the table at Unleavened Bread Cafe at 30th & Central and it was rich fellowship as we discussed local homeless issues related to the book we're reading, When Helping Hurts.  I noticed one of our table members was marked with ashes on his forehead and I was a bit jealous.  Not likely I'll get marked this year.  One of the homeless neighbors at our table is also a bicycle advocate and he told me about an adventure bicycle lecture at the library tonight and I made a commitment to meet him there.

I had breakfast but I haven't had lunch even though it's nearly 3:00 pm and I'm hungry.  That doesn't count as fasting, though.  And I have no clue about what I might forgo for 40 days.  I have too many lunch meetings to fast lunch.  I go without breakfast too often for that to be called a fast.  Some form of media, maybe?  Some kind of food?  I hope to bicycle as much as possible through Lent (fast from usual automobile/fossil fuel addiction), but we've got 6 inches of snow on the ground right now.  I'll think about this.

O God, still my rambling and refute my excusing.
I am afraid I will once again start and not follow-through on this thing.
But even with my self-doubt and past falterings, I begin again.
I do so knowing you know me and are with me.
Somehow, through this extended intention, contrived as it may seem to me,
I ask you to shape me more into your image and put me to serving in your Spirit
And deepen my conviction and confidence in you and your way
For your glory.
Amen

In the spirit of dialog, I welcome comments and/or questions. Click on "responses" below to post. They're moderated only to reduce incivility.

4 comments:

  1. You may be interested in joining us on facebook as we “give up something for Lent to help Haiti”!

    Please join and encourage others to join too so we can walk the journey of Lent together while helping Haiti.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=468308345460

    ReplyDelete
  2. to help with deciding your fast: www. blog. sojo .net/2010/02/17/lent-isnt-about-denial-its-about-transformation/ (had to space out the url because your blog doesn't except them)...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for these links. I like Julie Clawson's article on God's Politics blog. I resonate with her perspective.

    Also, I joined the "Give up something for Lent to help Haiti" group on Facebook.

    Will recommend both to others.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I went to the Ash Wednesday service at Speedway United Methodist Church this evening. My friend the Rev. Darren Cushman-Wood marked my forehead with ashes.

    ReplyDelete

Your tasteful comments and/or questions are welcome. Posts are moderated only to reduce a few instances of incivility.