lent and the forgotten disciplines

Just after Easter last year, I committed to seeking deeper intimacy with God.  In the beginning, I chose a different discipline on which to focus every month, hoping to have a renewed passion for Christ by Easter of 2008.  Since November, my disciplines have gone by the wayside.  (November’s challenge of loving Kyle in new, creative ways sounded really fun, but I honestly didn’t feel like the biggest romantic on the block when we had to pack up and move out of our house in a matter of two weeks.  Being houseless for another week didn’t help matters either.  So, I didn’t meet my challenge.  I didn’t get anywhere close.  But I’m not about to leave that one in the dust forever; it’s too much fun.)

It was my (sister’s) friend Jill‘s candid post about Lent that compelled me back to my journey to intimacy with God.  Oh, yes… Lent.  Easter will be upon us soon.

Last Easter, I had so little joy.  On the most joyous of celebrations for followers of Christ, I felt so… blah.  And that felt utterly wrong.  That’s why I started my disciplines in the first place.  Though I haven’t had formal disciplines since November, I wanted to be a part of one final period of reflection in the weeks leading up to Easter.

I have never celebrated Lent, but its call to penitence, selflessness, fasting, and prayer draws me.  I think these traditional Lenten practices are something I’d like to, as Wikipedia says, “[take] up with renewed vigour” in the weeks leading up to Easter.  When I was younger, my Catholic friends always “gave up” something for Lent — a favorite snack, often.  So, in my first commemoration of Lent, I’d also like to “give up” something:  my joylessness.  A few years ago, John Piper (in Desiring God) first taught me the command of joy — although I had read the command countless times in the Bible already.  However, I’ve never tried to practice joy as a daily habit until now.

Claiming joy is my final discipline of this year’s journey to intimacy.  If it means that I spend more time sitting with God and meditating on his brilliance rather than updating my blog readers about how I’m not meditating on his brilliance, I hope you won’t mind.  My service is needed elsewhere.

    • matches
    • February 11th, 2008

    i love it. i can’t wait to see what happens. Maybe nothing will happen. Or maybe nothing will appear to happen.

    I once sat in a circle in the grass for three days. I didn’t drink. I didn’t eat. I just sat.

    Nothing happened in those three days, but it changed me forever. I will never be able to be the same person again because of those three days.

  1. matches, your sitting in a circle in the grass intrigues me. I’d love to hear how it changed you.

    • matches
    • February 14th, 2008

    Not sure how or what happened. I sought mother earth and she came…not in any way that I could speak of or fashion with words on paper. But over the three days I guess you could say I became more connected with her. That’s as much as I feel comfortable sharing right now. I hope that makes sense.

    I don’t really like to talk about it, except when it has a purpose in the talking. I think this is part of it though. Without a purpose for talking about it it becomes a form of bragging or gloating, which feels very painful (that’s the best word I can think of). In other words, it would be an insult to her to use my experience to further my own pride. It was a very reverent, humbling, simple experience.

    It was a vision quest.

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