Yesterday was the First Sunday of Lent. I have not spoken much about Lent this year but there are plenty of other people doing so. I have not subscribed to the ‘give up something that is bad for me’ group as I am not sure, based on my readings and experiences of the last few years, that this is what Lent is all about. I have learned, mainly from Maggi’s writings, that Lent was originally about giving up the basics and essentials, i.e. the things that are good for us rather than luxuries, or bad habits, that are not that good and which people seem to be doing today.
I have noticed lots of people giving up Facebook for Lent … in my honest opinion … if so many people really think that Facebook is that bad for them to give it up for Lent (based on this newer idea of what Lent is about); then I question why they think it is ok to use it for the rest of the time? I digress … but it follows that if we use Lent to give up luxuries that we are then using the season of Lent in a very different way to our ancestors. Giving up essentials will give a different meditative focus than giving up luxuries.
This year I am reading Giving it Up in the morning and using the Sacred Space for Lent book as part of my Compline in the evening. I particularly like Maggi’s book and am challenged by her teaching that Lent is about giving up our images of God that we have allowed to develop and allowing God the space to renew or refresh the images that we have.
I am inspired by this view of Lent as well as being heavily challenged by it. As I look back I hear myelf saying things like ‘I like to think of God as …..’ and realise that in some cases I have no idea how I have come to that way of thinking. I guess I am trying to use Lent this yer as a bit of an onion peeling process as far as how I ‘see’ God.
I’m not sure where this will go, it may lead to frustrating dead ends, but I hope not. So I am on a Lentern journey …. walking along the alleys of my life, hoping to rediscover the God that God wants me to rediscover.