It’s Never Too Late to Start Observing Lent

Lent2016.001As we near the halfway point of the season of Lent it occurs to me that among the Christians who have no observance of lent, there might be more than a few who feel a little bit left out. What does one do if their church pays no attention to the season of lent? My advice would be to simply pick a lenten practice of your own and start in.

There may also be a group of people who intended to observe lent, but it’s just not working out. Your best intentions have gone by the wayside and now you are trying to forget that you told everyone you’d give up sugar, or chocolate, or caffeine, or whatever. Don’t feel bad. Spiritual growth is aided much more by failure than success. It’s not too late to try again.

Lent is meant to be a 40 day trip into the wilderness. We fast not to show how devoted we are, or to make God pleased with us. We fast because taking something away leaves a vacuum, and like nature, God hates a vacuum. Often a simple fast leaves room for the Spirit to come rushing in and fill the void. Time in the wilderness is necessary in order for our soul do grow and develop.

Here’s a list of simple 1 day fasts that you can observe from here on out during lent that just might make this a meaningful season for you after all. Pick a few and try them for the next few days, and see what happens.

 

Walk around the block
No radio in the car for a day
Pick the longest line at the grocery store
Go exactly the speed limit all day
Let others have the last word
Don’t share your opinion
Put phone on airplane mode when you get home from work
Don’t do any homework
Eat with no plates (eat with a common dish)
Eat standing up
Sit in the dark for 10 minutes before you go to bed
Rearrange your living room
Eat a kind of food you have never eaten before
Shower at the opposite time of the day
Listen to a genre of music that is different from your norm
Don’t use any drive throughs, go inside
Take a different route to work
Go to bed early tonight
Watch a tv show you’ve never seen before
Change the background on your Phone’s screen
Call a family member
Go for a car ride in the country.

Sweep the garage
Schedule a hangout with someone new
Greet people first
Call people by their name
Sit in a different seat (I’m thinking a Sunday on this one.)
Write a note to someone meaningful to you
Color or draw a picture
Make your bed (or don’t make your bed)
Find something beautiful or meaningful and simply gaze at it
Give away one thing you don’t need today
Eat no meat
Pray for someone you don’t get along with
Don’t use your debit or credit card
Abstain from social media
Drive in silence all day
Get outside
Drink only water
Memorize the beatitudes Matt 5:3-12

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  • Anthony Gifford

    Isn’t Lent supposed to be a chance to see Jesus of Nazareth on his way to Jerusalem, to see him walk by and to hear him call us and others to follow? The church has watered this down so the point where we nod our heads, wish him well and do some small act to show that we ‘vote’ for him and wish him well. Such a small and foolish response. The habit keeps us from the reality of the facts and we, in the doing, are kept small in our lives and spirituality.
    How about us really hearing his call to follow him, and to really ask ourselves and others what that would mean in our lives? These ‘smallifying’ habits are really demonic, for they are keeping us from truth and life.