One aspect of Lent that I particularly appreciate is the mindfulness of it. No one can observe Lent without willfully choosing to do so. Sure, you can decide to give up caffeine, chocolate, Facebook or one of a thousand other vices in "observance," but to me that can reek of what I wrote about in my last post (what we sometimes describe as following the letter of the law but missing the spirit of it).
To truly engage in an observance of Lent, then a certain mindfulness of what you are fasting from(or engaging in, as is my case) and why is required. Yes, it can certainly happen while abstaining from caffeine for 40 days. However, what is important is creating a contemplative spirit as we draw near to God in our Lenten practice and create a spaciousness that invites Him to move and breathe and speak.
Scripture or devotional readings is something that guides many in their observance of Lent. As I was considering what reading would guide me, my eyes fell on a little devotional book that a dear friend, Teri, gave me six months ago. It was sitting literally beside the computer, right in front of me, and the title alone made me chuckle: 40 Days With Jesus. I mean, how obvious!
Just three days into my 40 days, and I realize how timely this book is for me and how perfect it is to guide my meditations, my prayers, and my worship during Lent. On Day One I read, "I am training you to find Me in each moment and to be a channel of My loving Presence." My heart swells as I consider these wonderful words! In this one sentence, I discover the promise of entering into this experience with dedication, mindfulness, and an open heart.
As I mentioned, worship is part of my Lenten practice (along with writing and prayer) this year. Fernando Ortega's Come Down, O Love Divine has quickly become the soundtrack for this season. Particularly his song, "The Good Shepherd," is deeply moving. I pray it will minister to you, as you consider how you are mindfully inviting God into heart and life during these days of Lent: The Good Shepherd by Fernando Ortega