Lenten season

Life in the Aftermath: A Post Lenten Reflection

Easter has come and gone. The 40 days of Lent are behind us. Our Lenten devotions and fasts have come to an end. So now what do we do?

In my experience, the Lenten season, like the Christmas season, is a time of consistent spiritual devotion. The 40 days that mark the season of Lent on the Christian calendar are when I tend to be on my “A-game.” The significance of the mighty cross, and the celebration of Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday, all contribute to the anticipation of the season. For ministers and laity alike, Lent is a time of great devotion and sacrifice, all with the intention of drawing nearer to Christ. It is a beautiful time.

The Monday after Easter, the mundane routine of “normal” life returns. Ministers take a sigh of relief from the countless hours spent preparing for the various services, and church goers rejoice (secretly of course) at the fact that practices for the cantatas are finished and church is once again at most a two-day weekly commitment. Unfortunately, the significance of the Lenten season is lost in the ebb and flow of the ordinary. The impact of the season may last for a few days or even a week after Resurrection Sunday, but inevitably it is forgotten as life whisks away its tenets once again. Like a student who has gone to camp and returned, the “camp high” (or in this case, “Lenten High”) rapidly disseminates. For me, this has been the case every year in which I have embraced the significance of the Lenten season. This year, however, I find myself yearning for a change. Why must I allow the yearly routine to habituate itself any longer? 

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New Beginnings and a Lenten Fast.

The age-old cliché states, “Third time’s the charm.” For my blogging endeavors, I hope the cliché holds true.

Lately, I have been thinking about how scattered my mind is. I am a naturally inquisitive person. I am a critical thinker. I love to know the way things work and why people think a certain way. I love to dialogue with others about faith, life, and current issues. When I read or hear things, I subconsciously have to question something. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I do find myself losing track of time or the ideas I once was questioning. So, in an attempt to organize my thoughts, be more productive with my mind, and to enter into ongoing conversations about any and everything, I have decided to venture back into the blogging world. This time, however, there is a new motivation.

This past Wednesday marked the beginning of the Lenten season. Unfortunately, the “busyness” of my life enabled Lent to sneak up on me. In the Baptist world we generally don’t make much of a deal of Lent. Fasting for 40 days is rarely discussed. However, I think fasting is an integral part of our Christian faith. Fasting occurs many times throughout the Bible and for numerous reasons. For every reason there is one primary purpose; that is to draw us into a place of weakness so that we may turn our focus to God. I would like to propose, however, that fasting does not necessarily have to mean removing something from one’s life. Last year, one of my professors, Dr. Allen, spoke on fasting in our Christian Ethics class. She suggested that fasting is not always the giving up of something; fasting is something that draws one closer to God. So, as the days since Ash Wednesday have passed, I have been thinking…questioning…praying. I have since determined that this year, I will not give anything up. Instead, I will only be adding something to my life. My Lenten fast will be to write, journal, and blog more. Why? Simply because I feel it is necessary to channel my thoughts more productively so that I may glorify the Lord. As a part of my Lenten fast, I ask you as my readers to keep me accountable. My prayer is that this will not just be a “40-day thing,” but that it will be a new spiritual discipline added to my life. If you live near me or have my number, text me if I fall behind in writing. Fortunately for you all, you won’t have to read all of my thoughts (that’s why I will be keeping a journal), but I do hope that for the thoughts you do read, you join in on the conversation with me.

So, here’s to hoping that the third time truly is the charm! Thanks for being a part of this journey.

“All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.” – Eccl 3:20

χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη (Grace and peace to you) – Michael