It’s hard to believe, but we are about halfway through the Lenten season already. I’ve participated in Lent for a number of years now, and always feel that it’s an encouraging and challenging (in a good way) experience.
The New Year begins and we resolve to read our Bibles more, or pray more, or give more, but as we know, most resolutions are short-lived. And that is one reason I really like Lent. If I start the New Year off strong, but wane a few weeks or a month later, Lent is there to kick me in the pants and get me motivated again.
I didn’t really have a plan for what I was going to read this year. But I came across Margaret Feinberg’s 40-day plan via Twitter, and decided to give it a go. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Old Testament, so I thought it would be a good idea to focus on Jesus’ life while looking toward Easter. (I’m actually reading it through YouVersion if you prefer to read it digitally. Plus, I really like those little check marks that it gives me. 😉 Another reason I really liked her plan was the post she wrote about her #LentChallenge, stating that she wanted us to start each day’s reading with this prayer, “As I read today, Lord, reveal that which I most need to read but least want to hear.” Wow. That’s asking to be challenged for sure!
Another thing that’s greatly influenced Lent for me this year is this article on Relevant Magazine’s website by Ken Wystma. I definitely tend to go into Lent each year with my own questions, my own agenda. Sometimes I get an answer, and sometimes I don’t. It doesn’t make the season any less valuable, but yep, I’d rather have the answers on my schedule. So this was a fantastic article for centering myself, and for my approach to prayer at any time of the year. I particularly resonated with this part, “We often start our prayers with: ‘God, what is your will for my life?’ when we should be asking, ‘God, how can I serve you with my life?’” Um, guilty as charged.
Both of these items have given me a strong foundation for Lent 2015. It’s not been particularly unique or life-changing so far, and that’s ok. I’m learning to slow down, focus and listen. Those are always valuable lessons, and I have no doubt that I’ll have to learn them again later. For now, I’ll take them and the time I’m spending with my Creator. And I’ll look to April 5, when we all get to celebrate together.
Curious about Lent but don’t really know much about it? I read this post recently on Ken Wytsma’s blog, and thought this writer did a really good job of explaining it.
We’re halfway there, but it’s not too late for you to join! Why not make this your first Lent. If you do, I don’t think it’ll be your last.