Monday, January 28, 2008

Lengthening of Days

It has been quite awhile since I've written here, and I plan on being much more deliberate from now on.
This has been prompted partly by the advent of the season of Lent. Though I attend a Baptist-affiliated church, and was raised in non-liturgical churches in my youth, I think I have explained in previous years why I choose to celebrate certain seasons of the liturgical calendar. The simple explanation is that I had a Catholic grandmother who was excellent at explaining the importance she found in liturgical observances, and I clung to them because I saw how they benefited her in her walk with Christ. Also, I'll admit it, I like structure! =)
At any rate, my wonderful pastor/boyfriend gave a stirring message at church last night about fasting and the different ways it can be done and the good and bad reasons to fast. He, too, was prompted by the oncoming Lenten season to begin thinking of things he could do to observe the 40 days leading up to Easter. We were all encouraged as a congregation to think about things that have become compulsions for us, things which tear us away from our focus on God, addictions, things we like a little too much, etc... and to consider them all prayerfully as things we could fast from.
I have thought and prayed, and I have decided that I am going to get up one hour earlier every day of Lent in order to take more time with God in the morning. This could mean reading my Bible, praying, reading a devotion, meditation, worship or any number of other disciplines that I need to be better at (which is every discipline, really). In addition to this, I am going to limit my internet usage to one hour a day. Really, I don't need it for my job and anything else is just a waste of time. I do not need more than an hour to check my e-mail and write a blog, for heaven's sake!
So, I guess I could glut myself on sleep and internet until next Wednesday, but maybe I should begin preparing for the fast now.
Signing off!

1 comment:

Kevin J said...

I have been checking this consistently since the last post here. I am so pleased to see another post, and even more energized about the subject.

I have been practicing a mental fast for over nine strait months now. When the disgusting thoughts I used to indulge in come along, I "turn the other cheek" and give my mind to God. No longer is it ok to sit and brainstorm. After these many months of mental fasting, it has become second nature to pray and eliminate the thought. It requires dedication and a great amount of willingness to overcome a sour mind and I am grateful beyond words to God for giving me the direction and strength to do it.

One of the keys to this has been in getting up that hour early to start my day out by intentionally giving my thought life over to Our Father. It may sound funny to you, but I am still surprised that He has answered me in my request. When I meditate on it, it is still amazing to me. I have always swung my feet over the side of the bed and hit the ground running. Its no wonder I couldn't find the relief I needed. If I can say that I believe, cant I take a precious five minutes out of my day to devote my heart and mind to Him?

This hour of dedication to your spiritual life may very well be the most rewarding thing you have ever indulged in. I know it has been a life saver for me. Let us know how it evolves for you.



P.S. I think I know that Catholic Grandmother of yours :-)