Lent is nearly here again! How can we use this time of preparation leading up to Good Friday and Easter to best effect? I personally do not find giving things up particularly helpful, though of course many do. I say: Why not find a way to make it positive? And keep it simple. In this way you are more likely to use it.
So allow time for reflection. Reflection offers the possibility of renewal. Sounds better if you call it daydreaming with a purpose. Find time to think about people you are meeting. What opportunities do they present for you to be the hands of God? Think about the natural world. How is the glory of God revealed in both the beauty and the vulnerability of the creation? Where did you see imagination, creativity, new birth? Take a few pictures on your mobile phone—places, people, and situations.
Reflect about what familiar patterns of behaviour might be restricting your experience. For example, could you meet more people to talk with if you walked to the shops instead of driving? What potential spiritual insights are you missing by only reading one type of novel or watching only one type of television programme?
Do you need a bit more discipline in your life? Sounds a bit grim, doesn’t it, yet discipline is essentially about being a disciple or learner. So the question becomes: how can I help myself to be a better learner? Lent invites us to re-enter the school of life and seize the endless possibilities for growth. Learn more about yourself. Deepen your understanding of life and spirit.
You are unlikely to be led into temptation if you are looking to feed your life with what is helpful and healthy – trying to capture the best part of your passion and soul.
A final thought. We are encouraging our folk to join the Methodists in Coppenhall for their Lent lunches. There is a note about this in the church magazine for March and in the porch of the church. You can do your Lent reflection on your own of course, but how much better if you can do it in community with friends, old and new!