Well, one week of Lent has come and gone. Can you believe it?! You’ve survived two whole days without meat. High five.
This Lent, I’m going to be blogging every week about my journey. The joys, the trials, the graces, the crosses- all of it. I’m honored to share it with you and hope you’re blessed by it.
If you struggled or are still struggling to find something to give up, here’s my recommendation: don’t worry about giving up cookies.
It’s not bad to do so, as a matter of fact I gave up sweets for Lent last year. Giving up your favorite food or soda might help you die to yourself and unite with the cross – but it takes some effort. Giving something up without connecting it to Jesus in some way is essentially giving it up in vain.
It’s great if your Lenten sacrifices make you healthier – but if they don’t make you holier, what’s the point?
I gave up speeding
One thing I gave up this year for Lent is speeding. Now clearly speeding is dangerous and illegal. However, the reason I gave up speeding was because I want to live at a Godly pace. I don’t need to be rushing around. So, my decision to not drive even one mile over the speed limit is challenging me to leave somewhere with enough time to get to my next destination.
It’s also helping me to take my time, and go at the pace that is set for me, trusting God will honor that and provide for me. I’ve only been late to work once. Luckily, my boss is a priest and is aware of my Lenten promise, so he’s been fairly merciful.
If you like this idea but you don’t drive, try walking at a normal pace through the hallways at school. Even if you have to leave a conversation by the lockers just so you’ll make it to class on time, that’s a pretty good sacrifice. No more running through the halls, no more rushing. Walk at your normal pace and use that time to pray that you’d get closer to Jesus this Lent.
Are you listening?
This brings me to one of the things I’m ‘taking on’ this Lent. I’m committing to having silent prayer time every day. And I don’t just mean silent as in no music or no talking. It has to be an interior silence.
Instead of going into the chapel and pouring out my thoughts or trying really hard to hear Him, I’m just sitting in the silence. His calm, gentle, strong voice always comes to me if I submit to the sacred silence in the chapel.
If I can’t make it to the chapel, I can sit in silence with God in my room. My reflection this week on my silent time has flowed nicely with my reflections on not speeding.
What I’ve learned this week is this: I don’t always have to set the pace. Whether it be in the car, in the hallway, or in the chapel – I can take my time. I can slow down. I can breathe. I can listen to His heartbeat, and strive to live my life to the rhythm of that heart beat. Let God set the rhythm, and experience the freedom that it offers.
I’ll be back next week with more reflections on some of my sacrifices and what I’m learning about prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.