Lent Math

Okay, so all of us don’t observe Lent. I know that. I hadn't even heard of Lent until I was a teenager, and I still didn’t know what it was even then. (I also didn’t know any real live Catholics until middle school, when the Turri family moved into our neighborhood from Michigan.)

But now that I’m all grown up (well, sort of), I can voluntarily observe Lent if I want to. Even if my slice of the Christian world doesn’t. And trust me—it doesn’t. That’s okay. We'll quote some verses in Romans to each other and let it go at that.

What I’ve discovered on my own, though, is that seasons of reflection are good for me. They draw me closer in, to hear not only the shouts but also the whispers of why I worship Christ. They provide a focus for me that I can lose if I just drift throughout the year. They connect me to a Person and a relationship instead of settling for an organization and a routine.

"Holy days" encourage me to think holier thoughts.

To prepare for the upcoming Lent season, I’ve prayed about what to give up and what to put on. One aspect is just as important as the other. It’s not just letting go of one thing; it’s grabbing on to something else. Don’t subtract without adding back in. I don’t want the demons to bring their party into my freshly vacuumed living room; I want to be in charge of the guest list myself.

So I’m subtracting some internet time and adding in the gospel of Matthew. I’m (hopefully, prayerfully) curbing a complaining spirit and encouraging a contented spirit with an “enough as is” attitude. I’m stopping “work” earlier and starting A Call to Die sooner.

40 days. 40 mini-chances to more vividly remember Who I love and why. Eyes open. Ready, set, day 1...

March 3, 2009


I just read an excellent list of "technicalities" to think about regarding giving up something for Lent.

It's very funny (naturally--it's by Prodigal John at Stuff Christians Like), but also very insightful. Check it out.


Lynn Severance said...

LIsa, I happened upon this page searching for a place to respond to your RM devotional. So, this first. I know you are entrenched in "A Call to Die" but I wanted to share my favorite meditation book for the Lenten time. It is a compact book (153 pp.) and set up for day to day readings. Walter Wangerin, Jr. ( one of my favorite writers) has written "Reliving the Passion: Meditations on the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus as recorded in Mark". It is very unique and thought provoking...manageable from day to day of the 40 days leading us right up to Easter Sunday!

You may want to add it to your "might read someday" list...maybe next Lent season. I like knowing about "A Call to Die"...sounds intense but this is an intense season.

Your "Lisa Notes" are great!

Bless you!

Lisa notes... said...

Lynn, I'll add that to my book list--thanks for the suggestion. I love getting ideas from others. I have read "The Book of God" by Walter Wangerin and loved it. I'll keep you posted on how "A Call to Die" comes along.

I'll head over to RM and leave a message for you there...

Lynn Severance said...

Thanks, Lisa!

An extended thought triggered by your response is this.

Walter Wangerin's book, "Mourning Into Dancing" is the best book I have read on grief and I've read more than a few!


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