It’s the first Sunday of Lent and if you’re following my Lenten journal, I hope you you took the last few days to rest and listen to your inner self. In a distracted world it is too easy to lose touch with what guides you.
This past week we have been inundated with conflicting news – the tragedy in Japan, March madness, Spring Training and multi-million dollar contract negotiations (or the lack thereof), and conflict in other parts of the world. Makes you think two different things: ‘Glad it’s not me,’ and ‘Wish it were me.’ The question becomes, ‘What really matters?’ If you’ve been fortunate to live through a disaster (in the instance where you experienced one), you’ll understand that in the immediate aftermath the only things that matter, and that you are thankful for, are your own safety and the safety of those dearest to you. Everything else shrinks to triviality.
I think if you live in the moment, that is one of its blessings. Things that seemed important shrink into insignificance. There is only now. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. My heart aches at the tragedies occurring around the world and I become less interested in the plights of the rich trying to become richer; yet, no matter our standing, we cannot avoid life and all of its beauty, wonder, and danger.
To live now is to accept that, and to cherish all your interactions, whether they are as simple as raking leaves with a loved one nearby, or as complicated as negotiating peace between parties whose focus is only on themselves. Each moment you can choose your response. But only if you are aware of the opportunity.
Ash Wednesday, technically yesterday, began this season of Lent. If you’ve downloaded the pdf file, you may embark on a different kind of season. How different? Well, the first thing I want to do is take a deep breath. In order to prepare, it’s important to clear away the daily distractions, step off the path of the current race you’re in, and catch your breath before you begin.
Too often in the past I ran right into Lent with the intention of accomplishing a lot of change. This season, this Spring (one meaning of Lent), will be a time of discovery, and hopefully in that discovery a renewed sense of direction and self, and the appreciation and sharing of your gifts.
So relax, inhale and exhale slowly and deeply for the next few days, and prepare to begin on Sunday. Yes, that normal ‘free’ day. Another way this season will be different.
I’ve completed a Lenten journal, titled: Irrational Treasure, that includes my reflections for the Sundays in Lent, plus Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. This is a free download to anyone who’s interested. I’ll also post at the beginning of Lent to explore another way to use the time, a bit differently than the past ‘sacrificial’ focus, though, if you follow this, you may find others believing you are sacrificing a great deal.
You can sign up below and to the right to receive the download of the journal in an email link.
You can print it out and write in it, or just read it – it’s a pdf file, meaning you’ll need Adobe’s Acrobat Reader. If you don’t have it, you can download the latest version here.
When you sign up for the download you’ll receive an email with a link in it. You can then download the file and share with others. (Or send them here!) If I have time, I will create an ebook of just my thoughts and reflections, leaving out the journal part of it. (You can use what you like to add your own thoughts, if you are inclined to do so.)
I hope this season brings you renewed faith, loving insight into who you are, and gratefulness.