Every year we go through the ritual of spring cleaning, where we air out our musty rooms, clear out the clutter that’s accumulated over the winter, clean out the dirty corners, and welcome the new life that is spring.
Lent gives us the same opportunities for our spiritual house. Every year these 40 days give us the opportunity to look deep into the corners and do a deep cleaning.
There are many approaches to this: fasting, Bible study, daily devotions, service, prayer. The beauty of our Reformed faith is that no one gets to tell you what is best for you. You are free to decide what your Lenten discipline will be. Many Presbyterians take that as freedom to opt out entirely, but I urge you, as your pastor, not to opt out. This is a great opportunity to dig deep.
What discipline is best for you? I’d say the more disruptive to your regular pattern, the better. A traditional fast is to abstain from eating meat, but for a vegetarian, that’s not much of a fast, is it? If I fasted from watching TV it wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice for me, since I don't watch much to begin with, but if I fasted from drinking soda (which I love… too much) that would be a fast that would be disruptive to my regular pattern of living.
When we crave whatever we are fasting from this is an opportunity for humility and remind ourselves, “I really want a soda, but I don’t need a soda as much as I need God’s grace.” In like manner positive disciplines where we take on an extra discipline of service or study can be a sacrifice of time and energy.
If you’ve never taken on a Lenten discipline and want to brainstorm about what might be best for you, let’s talk! Text or call me or drop me an email and we can set up a time to meet. I’d love to be your spring cleaning consultant!