I like to keep my life in balance – mind, body, spirit and I am grateful to God every day for the ability to practice those things that keep it so. You can imagine, then, how out of balance I felt recently, when a serious fall derailed my running for a month. I moped about for a while, bought a workout video, to keep moving until I could run again…then I stopped to consider…maybe it’s not just the inability to run that’s put me out of balance. Maybe it’s time to look more deeply into my other practices, to see what else might be off kilter.
Do you ever find that, every now and then, your prayer life switches to auto-pilot? You’re going along, going through the motions, but really getting nowhere? Fortunately, Lent comes along just in the nick of time. Lent is a call to conversion; its calls us to wake up, shake off the winter lethargy and get to work.
The great thing about a new routine is the enthusiasm and renewed energy it brings with it. The workout video I purchased was just what I needed – a change of routine; and it got my looking into other routine changes in other areas of my life.
I began to seek out new reflections and meditations to better aid me in reading the daily scriptures. It got me searching for new prayers that will lead me into deeper contemplation. I’m even looking critically at my usual Lenten routines to see how I might do better, how I might make it a more meaningful and fruitful Lenten journey.
Do you give things up for Lent? Is there a purpose to it, a spiritual benefit? Not a ‘what’s in it for me,’ but ‘what’s in it for others?’ This year I’ve decided that everything I do, or refrain from doing; everything I say, or refrain from saying, will be done for the sake of others; for the wellbeing of others. As I write this I’m thinking my husband might be the greatest beneficiary of all my Lenten promises, but that’s really not a bad thing, is it?
Let’s shake things up this Lent, let’s get creative for the benefit of others. Let’s fast - from anger, from hurtful gossip, from impatience. Let’s give generously – of our time, our abundance; let’s give smiles and compliments and kind words and hugs. Let’s pray without ceasing – as we drive, walk, prepare dinner, clean the house. Try something new this Lent, shake things up and it will bring new enthusiasm to your spiritual practices, I guarantee it.