Monday, March 10, 2014

Lent 2014: 40 Days of Communication

This is the time of year when people write blog posts about what they're taking on or giving up for the season of Lent, that 40-day span leading up to the celebration of Easter. It is a tradition for many to observe some sort of practice, whether of altruism, charity, self-denial, or spiritual enrichment, to help one reflect on the similar themes of Jesus in the wilderness focusing himself for what comes next.

Some will do something basic like give up Oreos or Facebook. Others will work through a devotional book or study. Still others will take on a creative project like I did last year. Still others will go for a grandiose, hipster discipline like "giving up church," or "giving up Lent for Lent."

This year, I'm going for something deceptively simple and low-key. It's really an extension of my selected word for 2014, "Share." 

For 40 days, I'm going to engage in some act of communication with friends or loved ones. A phone call here, a text there, an email here, a social media message there.

Like I said. Simple.

The obvious question that many will ask is, "What's so special about that? What are you really doing that is going to help you become more aware of God through such a thing?"

Allow myself to quote…myself:
I was very drawn into myself in 2013. I could really trace it further back than that, but due to all the transition, some strong natural tendencies, and some stuff I was processing related to some ministry experiences at my previous stop, I was very much in a spiritual cocoon for much of the year. The positive moments came when I picked up the phone and reached out to people, whether to talk over some of the stuff I needed to get through my system, to catch up, or just to get out for a night.
In recent times, when I have isolated myself or taken on an attitude that I can deal with certain situations on my own, it hasn't been very spiritually healthy for me. I think I'm still climbing out of the cocoon that was 2013 (and really 2012, too), and so the simple act of basic communication in some form every day for such a period of time is, I think, a needed part of that climb.

In other words, this isn't exactly something that I do regularly otherwise. But when I do do it, it's been good for my soul, especially lately.

So that's it, really. I'm still trying to share myself with others this year, and I see this as a great opportunity to do so.

Whatever you take on, if that is your practice, peace be with you during this season.