In the past Lenten sacrifice has changed my habits in real life such as not using the computer on Sundays, not listening to my iPod when others are around and so forth.
Here's where I am this year.
ReadingNONFICTION — This year I'm going to read Meditations on Vatican Art. I'm not sure where I first heard of this but the previews on Amazon look wonderful. I love reflecting on art and adding scripture to the mix seems perfect for Lent.
FICTION — I wasn't planning this but kind of fell into reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Again I'm struck by the depths this seemingly simple story has in it and how inspirational I find it. I am, after all, pretty much a hobbit.
PrayerI like to say I have three prayer times in the day.
When I'm feeding the dogs in the morning and taking them for a walk, I do intercessory prayer and turn my day over to God.
In the evening before bed I do a self examen of my day. I've been getting better about really doing it instead of giving it a lick and a promise.
I like to SAY that after work in the afternoon, I make a cup of coffee and go outside for 20 minutes of contemplative, imaginative prayer. (The dogs love coffee time when we're all out there together.)
I like to say that. And in the past I've done it. But for several months it has been more saying than doing. It is sad how often I have other distractions I indulge than spending just 20 minutes with God. This isn't the first time I've had this problem but I will tackle it once again.
During Lent I promise not to miss a 20-minute date with my coffee, dogs, and Bible.
FastingThis is the traditional name for "giving up something for Lent." I've done it with food, I've done it with technology, I've done it with bad habits. (Remember that 40 days when I made it everywhere on time? Hurrah for Lent!)
Once again, I am fighting distraction. It is one of the ills of our time. And I'm no different than anyone else.
In February, before Lent, I really cut back on visiting three social media spots which just suck the time right out of me. GoodReads, Letterboxd, and Facebook. That helped a lot.
For Lent proper I'm giving myself the gift of silence. By not listening to my iPod. For most people that would mean no music. For me that means no podcasts or audio books. Aaaaaaargh! Horrible, horrible silence.
Won't someone stop me? Tell me it's too radical? Save me?
Huh. Guess not. So onward I go into the desert.