My personal Lenten prayers and resolves live somewhere in my head and heart, but one thing I am sharing is my belief that Lent is a time of affirmation and growth.
Is what you are doing bringing you closer to God?? That is the question for me this year.? All that I do, all that I say, all that I think…is it bringing me closer to what I believe and who I believe God to be?
As Melissa Harris-Lacewell now Melissa Harris-Perry shares in this beautiful post about her womanist perspective of Lent, I began agreeing with some of her points.? Is really that fruitful to give up small indulgences like candy or chocolate, cursing, or bad habits?? When done in good faith, these restrictions?make us feel good and they definitely feel good when we return to them once the 40 day deprivation is over come Easter.? But the larger question remains: no matter what you resolve, no matter what you give up or intend to do or promise to finish or vow to avoid, does this bring you closer to God?
Does this bring you closer to God?? Closer to the ____________ whatever you claim and label that *Divine Otherness to be?? Universe.? Mother.? Spirit.?
Does this bring you closer to that?
Giving up things can clear our spiritual and mental palettes.? It can offer clean, unadorned tables of clarity and reflection.? But, for many people, that’s not enough for 40 days.? So many times, self-sacrifice and deprivation become synonymous with spiritual growth and faith development.? They’re not synonymous.? It’s the meaning we attach to our rhetoric that gives us the space to deepen our relationship with God.
I gave up some things.? And I committed myself to actions that I believe will bring me to a higher understanding of self, God, and relationship.
One of those practices is daily writing.? So often in the real world of publishing, editing, and cultural critique, the 7 year old girl who wrote simply because she loved to write gets pushed behind the woman who believes that perfect sentences reveal more than honest confessionals.
My 40 days of lent are not about absolution or confessing to the world my mistakes and oversights and shortsightedness.? Come Easter Sunday, I want to be able to claim a sweeter soul, an undisturbed tongue, a relational spirit, a loving mind.
And so I shall write everyday.
40 days of writing…who knows what will be birthed?