Into the desert…

(Reblogged from last year).

Two days from now is Ash Wednesday, and Lent will begin – an annual season for going out into the desert, metaphorically speaking, away from distractions, in order to pay attention to what God is saying. It’s a season for silence and self-examination, for prayer and self-discipine, for meditating on the Word of the Lord and for being more intentional about learning the Jesus Way.

‘Giving up things for Lent’ doesn’t mean a lot to me, although I know the value of learning to strengthen one’s self-control muscles by practising saying ‘no’ to self.  What does make sense to me, though, is taking regular breaks from things that threaten to become addictions. Internet use and blogging is high on that list for me, so every year in Lent I just give it up. It’s a sort of forty-day silent retreat for me. Last year I gave up Facebook too, to make the silence even more complete. I may do that again this year; the panic I feel when I think about it tells me that I probably should.

It’s always hard to contemplate giving up the blogosphere as Lent approaches, but I’m always glad I did; I always approach Easter feeling more peaceful, more in tune with what God is saying. Lent always seems to arrive in the nick of time for me spiritually, and I think it’s going to be the same this year. I’m looking forward to it.

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