Yesterday I talked about paying particular attention during our Lenten fasts and journeys. That is a difficult pursuit in a world where there are so many distractions and so much noise. Some of the distractions are good things…there is much in our world to enjoy and in which to be immersed. Still, sometimes the amount of information and the number of people we are in contact with is staggering.
We know more, more quickly, than ever before. We know about more needs, we know about more people who are suffering and we want to help in some way. We are able to enjoy relationship with so many people through blogs and through Facebook…it really can become overwhelming.
Again, Lent speaks a word to us to slow down and to limit ourselves. To pay attention.
I came across an article yesterday from Winn Collier that really struck home…
“Lent asks us (could we please, just for this stretch of 40 days) to be more discriminating, more present. Sometimes to seek your one truth thing, you have to hide from hundreds of others.”
Limit ourselves. Turn some things off so we can pay attention to the eternal, to Jesus’ time in the desert and to His walk to Good Friday and ultimately Easter.
There is great freedom in being limited. There is freedom in being told that we do not have to worry about everything in this moment. At least for these few days we have the freedom to set aside some in order to make one thing more bright.
The freedom of limitations. It sounds wrong….and yet, as we enter a little more each day into the discipline of Lent we find that the limits help us and give the space we need to concentrate. That doesn’t meant that we immediately are at ease in limits; sometimes we need a few days to let the noise clear out of our own minds before we can settle into thinking about just one thing. Forty days is a good stretch, long enough to give us the space to clear our minds and to be comfortable in thinking about Jesus more intentionally.
I’m getting there…yesterday was better than the day before and today I am already looking forward to the time to read and to contemplate and to pray. I am hopeful that this Lent is going to be a season of truly seeking Jesus. A season of understanding more what it means that Jesus died to save me, a sinner. Then Easter….the explosion from the grave and our explosion of joy and praise after this season of austerity.