Preparing for Lent: What to Give Up — What to Add


February 23rd — 5th Email

Often people add practices to their daily routines during Lent.  I am hoping that you will make reading my daily emails such a routine.  By reading and reflecting on scripture we provide some space for God’s Spirit to lead us into a deeper freedom.

Traditionally during Lent people give up something.  The roots of this tradition come from the fasting Jesus did giving up food for forty days.  (I will have more to say about fasting when we encounter the story at the outset of Lent.)

What might you like to give up during Lent — or for that matter to add — since in the adding we give up something to make space for it? (At the very least, we give up the time it takes to do the activity.)

Over the course of the next couple of emails I will offer you possibilities to consider.  Every person’s needs are different, and it would be a mistake to try and undertake all the possibilities.  But hopefully you will find thinking about the possibilities useful.

During Lent, you could take a daily walk with the intention of turning it into a time of prayer.  Take in the sight of God’s natural world and ponder the wonder of creation.  During your walk, give thanks and pray for the people in your life.

Each day you could spend ten or twenty minutes in silent meditation.  This is typically done by following your breath or repeating a simple prayer mantra by way of slowing down the rush of repetitive thoughts that clutters our minds, allowing us to live more mindfully.   (If you would be interested in more information on how meditate I can provide you with that.)  In the more centered place we reach through meditation we are more fully present to bring ourselves before God in prayer.

You could go without sweets, or fast food, and redirect the money you would have spent to help people with serious outward bondage.

As the Apostle Paul said, our bodies are “the temple of the Holy Spirit” and any daily practice that enhances our health has the potential of giving you more energy to focus in positive directions.