Lent 2017

“Return with your whole heart”    Joel 2:12

Sometimes, I miss the obvious. With attention on the dishes to be done, I miss the feast. While pondering my 401(k) account, I miss the riches I hold in the people who surround me. In the midst of bemoaning the weather, I miss the necessity of the fallow time of Winter.

Lent needs a good PR agent. The Lenten lead-off singer is fasting, abstinence and alms-giving signified in a small cross of ashes. Appearing to focus on death, Lent doesn’t get credit for light. Falling into the post Mardi Gras sugar withdrawal, I experience Ash Wednesday as something requiring survival. But, I miss the point.

This Lent, I am attempting to get the point.

To see that it is in setting down the distraction that I discover the attraction (what really matters to me). To experience that life without sugar is better, not worse. To decide that the real invitation of Lent is the “urgency to live deliberately” — the focus on a different kind of intention. Action with a purpose. To do without some of the familiar habits and patterns that keep me in a fog and hear the alarm bell of being aware.

This Lent, I am going to share with you an action or practice or intention around which my day will be formed. Maybe you will want to join me — or at least my sharing it will hold me accountable for giving my best.

A few stories, a bit of musing, a prayer now and then and a commitment to letting Lent teach me something this year…but not surrounded by gloom and self-congratulatory compliance with my own Lenten practice…but instead — to discover what I regularly miss.

To savor the food before the dishes are done…to let the weather just be…to recognize that the real growth in wealth is not calculated on the quarterly statement…to let joy be part of the Lenten agreement.

Happy Lent!