The season of Lent is upon us as we head into the month of March. I started to fall in love with Lent when I was in seminary. Growing up, my family never practiced the discipline of giving things up for Lent. To be honest, most of my memories around Lent revolved around going to worship and the emphasis being put on Easter morning.
When I started seminary in 2007, I fell in with a great group of friends who taught me how to immerse myself in the season of Lent. I think Lent appealed to me because there was an element of dark in it, an element of it’s okay to not be okay. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time it felt good to feel that acceptance and the call of God to find peace in the saving death and resurrection of his Son. Seminary was also the first place that I encountered the practice of taking on a discipline for that season, rather than giving up something. I have never been good at giving things up, especially when I try to do it intentionally. I don’t know about you, but for me, habits are hard to cultivate and they are even harder to break. But for this Lent, what about trying something new with me? Well, it isn’t that new, since I introduced the idea to you last Lent in some of our prayer stations. The idea comes from the book, Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline by Catherine McNiel. Let’s try taking on the spiritual discipline of prayer. But there is no need to make it complicated. Try reciting the Lord’s Prayer in your head when walking. Try taking 5 minutes to breathe deeply with the words of John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” Let’s see if we can allow the Lenten season to become part of who we are this year, rather than just another thing we have to do. May the peace of the Lord go with you now and always.