Adding, not Subtracting
Today brought a new perspective on this Lent season. Yesterday I shared how I don’t want to give up anything for Lent. I just don’t. Not this year. At least not today. I don’t want to subtract something, anything, that is marginally comforting or pleasurable for me right now. I just don’t want to subtract.
Today a couple of friends suggested that rather than giving up or subtracting something, I add something. One friend shared with me some spiritual practices she has added to her daily or weekly routine in the past for Lent. She reminded me that the point of any spiritual practice during Lent is to orient myself in a way that allows me to draw closer to Christ.
She reminded me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30:
Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (the Message)
I’m thinking I will try to get to the beach or the lake — someplace in nature — once a week during Lent. God speaks to me in nature. Daily, I’m going to shoot for reading my Jesus Calling devotional. Always a voracious learner and avid reader, I’m astounded by my need for simple and less right now.
This isn’t like me. I’m usually pretty disciplined. When I decided to read the Bible-in-a-Year, I did it. When I decided to read the One-Year Chronological Bible, I did it. Now it’s different. Maybe in this season it’s less about discipline and more about surrender.
Back in my former life (before starting to work full time), I used to do a lot of speaking for moms’ groups. One of the things I always said was, “There is a special grace for moms with little ones. The Lord knows the season you’re in. He gave you these little ones, and He knows the time and energy it takes to care for them. Allow yourself the grace to experience God in the moments of your mothering…to engage in spiritual practices that fit with this crazy season of life.”
I need to practice what I preach. God knows the season I’m in.
For today, adding, not subtracting. In the unforced rhythms of grace.