Monday, March 10, 2014
Most of us remember Lent as the season for giving up something. In the place I grew up we were given coin cards with a slot for each day of Lent. Each slot would hold a dime. Or, it was suggested that we give up something like cokes or chocolate for Lent. As anyone can see, those were the days of big sacrifices! After several decades of doing Lent as a pastor, it seemed more appropriate to call people to do something for Lent instead of to give something up for Lent. Quite often, the doing ended up requiring some kind of sacrifice which was more difficult than passing up on a piece of candy.
So, a suggestion for those who have heard the Invitation to Observe a Holy Lent and want to take it seriously: Use these weeks of Lent to Practice Being in His Presence. Most of us want to spend more time in the presence of God; however, it is something we find difficult to do. A few role models for this spiritual endeavor are Brother Lawrence, Frank Laubach, and Oswald Chambers. Who among us would not like to spend more than just a few moments each day in the presence of God? Who among us would like to spend an hour a day in His Presence? While we might say, "Sure, but impossible..." maybe there is a way. Have as a spiritual goal spending ten minutes in the presence of God each day this first week of Lent. Read the Bible, pray, or do whatever you normally do in a devotional time. Make ten minutes the goal. Give it a try.
When the second week of Lent comes along, add ten minutes to the time being spent in the presence of God. Each week add ten more minutes and by Easter everything about your spiritual journey will be different. Guaranteed! Do not worry about later. Practice the discipline a day at time. Practice a week at a time. Each Monday I will offer some suggestions to help you in this discipline of being in His presence. And, we can always covenant to pray for one another as well. How about it?