As part of my writing research I have been looking at origins and meanings of the church year. This, amid all the other various topics! So it makes sense for me to note and recognise the beginning of Lent.
What am I giving up? Wasting unnecessary time on the computer. It's a common one these days it seems - I wonder if it is in the top 10, as is, presumably, chocolate? So much can swallow our time and our energy - needless distractions, trying to numb our minds. It strikes me we do not have a clear idea of healthy relaxation, less inclination to spend time with God and ourselves - prayer and meditation feeling heavy, even alien, in a bitesize culture.
Lent - put in place as a time of preparation for those to be baptized on Easter Sunday, and interestingly, a time for those who had been 'excluded' temporarily from the church as a time of penitence - leading towards restoration. Preparation and penitence. Hardly fashionable words.
We exhaust ourselves with the trivial, and so the meaningful feels slow and onerous. Quietness and trust are nice in sentiment but difficult to apply.
I say this without agenda. I merely reflect on the reality of my life in this world. That it is so easy to weary ourselves with the unimportant, that we never get round to addressing the things of real matter. We long for meaning, and waste our time on meaninglessness. We forget what is temporary and what is eternal, not understanding the latter has a far deeper enchantment, if we would only choose it.
I long - pray - that my heart would be a willing one - willing to learn, to hear, to think, to inspire, to go deeper.
Not merely to pass the time.
Image from stock.xchg