Random Lenten thoughts:

Lent has got to be one of the great seasons of the year! It’s a time to practice things which make us more holy and happy. My friend, Teresa, told me that the homily she heard on Ash Wednesday invited her to practice lent by “not giving up what you like,” but practicing something that will make you happy (a state God really wishes for each of us.)

So, as she noted, rather than “giving up chocolate” because it’s something one likes, one could “give up overeating chocolate, beer, salty snacks, etc.” because doing so will help me to be more healthy and happy and, yes, holy!

Okay so here are my Lenten “practices” for 2004 in no particular order:

• Write every day. No matter what. Something, somewhere, somehow. Going to try to post each day to the “blog” as external deadlines work for me. Writing is a gift, I think, from God and I need to explore what and how it can lead me closer to a real Christian life.
• Give up sugar, real and artificial (if it’s in the top four ingredients, pass it by). For me this isn’t about giving up something I like, it’s practicing living without something that makes me crazy. I’m pretty sure I’m one of those sugar-sensitive folks. A little sugar in my system means I crave more – all the time. So, Lent offers me this amazing period in which I have not only the will power, but the grace to work through the addiction in a different way. So, I’m also reading “The Sugar Addicts Total Recovery Program” this Lent too.
• Begin a program for more holistic attention management (mindfulness). Getting in touch with the divine in the here and now – cuz that’s where the divine is and as I hurry and hustle and bustle about I remove myself from the presence of God and my sisters and brothers – who are right here right now and this is IT!

I think this is enough. Each of these things is intended to bring me closer to being the healthy person God would like me to be. Each offers me the opportunity to sacrifice some and to practice something that can bring me closer to God and others. Here we go. And you?

Teresa, if you read this, get the book: Sabbath, by Wayne Muller. Just a thought.