How could you design your Lenten practice to support digging deeper to know yourself and God? Offer this in prayer to God for the day.
By Rev'd Stephanie Jenkins
I’ve found a key piece to developing a new habit or practice is the need to be realistic and practical. As I think about my Lenten disciple of "slowing down" to know and be known by God more fully, experience has taught me long drawn out disciplines are rarely sustainable. Let’s translate "slowing down" with this in mind. It would be heavenly in my practice of "slowing down" if somehow additional hours were added to the day. Realistic? No! Looking at my daily habits for a window of time I can reclaim and spend in a different way? Realistic? Why, yes!
How much time do I spend aimlessly “thumb swiping” on FB going beyond necessary engagement (in my case monitoring a few professional groups I participate in)? Certainly, I can pick up some “found time” here, easily 10 or 15 minutes! It will take a little effort to change this habit; and that’s partly what Lent is about.
It may sound silly, and hear me out as I describe a little kinesthetic practice I’ve learned when trying to change habits (remember I mentioned Lenten disciplines work best for me if I think about the practical pieces needed as well).
I already know I’m going to pick up phone to check out FaceBook .... rather than “swiping” my time away, I’ve been pausing with my phone in hand, literally turning it over and “swiping” the backside of the phone, which isn’t particularly engaging, while acknowledging I need a little help from God to turn my attention toward that relationship. Eventually the habit of picking up the phone will end and I can go straight into using that “found time” to be more deeply and intentionally with God.
Keeping my "Lenten Home Devotion Guide" (soon to be in your mailbox) along with scripture for the week and a few of my favorite pieces of “Lenten” poetry and writings next to my phone and keys (and bedside table at night), help create a realistic and practical ways to dig deeper to know and be known by God this Lenten season.
I encourage you to make your Lenten discipline simple and practical as possible (it’s taken me years to recognize this value) as it is often simple disciplines integrated into our day by day by day by day patterns that help sink in a little more fully and dig a little deeper.