I've started thinking about Lent. Well no duh, Kate! Of course I have, like sometime back in Advent! No NOT that way, not liturgically, corporately, programmatically. Personally. My Lent. My own private little Lent. As in how will I be "observing" this time. Lent and Advent really vie for favorite times in my life. Sometimes Lent wins. Lent is full of anniversaries for me. Lent was the time when I was fifteen or so that I can remember that I really sensed God's presence and I can say "heard" God speaking to me personally for the first time. It was a very powerful experience of the Holy for me. Lent was the first time, during a Holy Week retreat in high school, that I was able to truly imagine, and enter into the suffering of Jesus on the cross and experience at a profound level the love that went into my personal redemption. One Holy Saturday, during an Easter Vigil renewal of baptismal vows, I felt myself most powerfully called back into a loving personal relationship with Jesus after a lost and lonely time of wandering. Last year, my Lenten disciplines turned out to be signifcant in impacting life changes in ways I never would have imagined going in. I preached my first sermon to this congregation on Ash Wednesday. I baptized my first baby on Easter. Lent is a Big Deal. I like to do Lent well. So I've been thinking about Lent and what to do this year. Richard Foster's book is calling me. First I thought it would be Prayer, but, I kept just "randomly" running across references to the Celebration of Discipline kind of everywhere I went. Bloggers mentioned it, it came up in someone else's conversation really out of left field, C's church is having a book group on it....so I ordered it of course. I read the first chapter last night....I'm hooked. Spiritual disciplines. The things that in my convent life I railed against simply because, I think, no one took the time to explain the "why" of them to us. It was simply a "do this, it's good for you." Well tell that to a nineteen year old! Even a fairly compliant one in the 1970s. I have come to love my own little set of them. Have my own comfort with my kind of prayer life and my kind of meditation practice. I see from what I've read that Mr. Foster and I don't see quite eye to eye on all things. I feel a little push back in myself. I need to settle down and get teachable again. That in itself would be Lenten now wouldn't it?
I do plan to post daily. It worked for gratitude, it worked for Adventing. So I think I'll be Lenting as well. Trying to be conscious about "observing" Lent. "Observing." Watching for the signs of God. And perhaps trying to have some discipline in that effort.