Lent 2019

On the Journey with Jesus

Week Three

What have you chosen as your Lenten practice?  Whatever you have chosen, just know that during this time we are watching for patterns in our lives.  If your life is very chaotic and busy, perhaps you’ve chosen to practice the discipline of meditation and silence every day.  Afterward you may feel energized.  Take note what patterns are coming up for you. 

This week, as you develop a spiritual practice, take a moment and answer these questions:

 -How do you feel when engaged in your Lenten discipline?  Are you energized?  Or does it feel dry and dead? 

-What influences your spiritual practice? Time of day?  Other people? Your mood? Your awareness of responsibilities?

Meditation

 Then go to a place in your house to be in solitude so that distractions don’t bombard you. Again practice the same meditation.  Allow your breath to center you when your mind wanders.

Breathe deeply and relax.  Identify your thoughts.  Notice fears and worries or anything overwhelming.  Are you tired?  Experiencing anxiety?  Do you have pain anywhere in your body?  Do you feel empty inside?  Wilderness is in all these situations.  And we spend a lot of energy fighting them.  Instead, invite them in for tea.  Befriend your emotions.  Settle them down with your breath to clear internal space.

Don’t worry if you can’t clear these emotions just yet.  There is plenty of time.  For now just notice how crowded your internal self is with these emotions and don’t judge yourself and write down in a journal where you might feel out of control, overwhelmed, or blocked.  This is a way to map your inner journey during Lent.

Reflection

We all experience chaos in our lives.  It’s inevitable and though unpleasant, it’s part of human life on earth.  Everything is so unpredictable.  God dealt with chaos in the creation story.  Order emerged from all the chaos on earth.  Chaos theory informs us that patterns form from disorder and that it’s part of the creation process.  As we begin Lent in chaos, we allow ourselves to experience that and clear the space.  Then we can create something new.  The scripture says, “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord.” (Exodus 31:15)   This is a rhythm practice that gives us room and space in our lives. It’s a shared rhythm which protects us from getting burned out and exhausted.  Keeping a day to completely rest reminds us that God has designed us to have this space in order to reset and create. Becoming mindful of a ritual or practice that isn’t graced with love will make it stale and without meaningful and we will abandon the practice. Look for the natural rhythms in your practice.  Some like to pray in the morning, others at night and still others throughout the day. Don’t judge yourself what’s right or wrong. Be gentle with yourself as you develop a new practice.  Change takes time and can be stressful. Instead of listening to your inner critic, be gentle in your practice.

Questions

  1. What rhythms are developing in your Lenten practice? What changes do you notice in times of day, locations and other external circumstances.
  2. How does your practice move toward a certain day or time or a certain rhythm?
  3. In what way do you notice how your practice is routine but graced with love and excitement? Are you feeling forced to practice a spiritual discipline?  Or are you inspired?
  4. Read Psalm 19. Considering its celebration of the law:  The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul”. How does your obedience to the law of your practice/discipline revive your soul?

 

Tags:

Socials

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply