LENT IS A TIME TO CLEAR OUT THE CLUTTER
Many church traditions observe Lent by a period of deprivation and contemplation which is thought to lead to a deeper relationship to God. Indeed, our spiritual mothers and fathers had traditions and regulations which were probably helpful to early Christians and there are ways we can benefit from setting aside time to consider the connection between our everyday life and our spiritual life.
Most of us lead much busier and more complex lives than the earlier followers of Jesus. And often that complexity and the incredible variety of things we can easily accumulate complicates our lives as we try to deal with all the “stuff” we have accumulated. Some families who have known poverty or deprivation collect stuff because they have been poor and remember not being able to afford new stuff. Sometimes the “stuff” actually makes life more stressful as our homes fill with things we do not need or use. There are even professionals who advise us of how to reduce and organize our stuff.
Lent is probably a good time to look at our houses and our hearts to see how we could simplify things. And the benefit of getting rid of things that clutter up our lives can be a spiritual one as well. Christina Van Eyl in The Church Herald of March 2009 says, “The season of Lent provides us with an opportunity for spiritual housecleaning: for organizing our thoughts, for choosing our spiritual path, for deciding who we want to be in relationship to God. It invites us to jettison those behaviors that clutter our internal living space and impede Christian living. In the lengthening days of Lent, we can reflect on our Christian values and allow them greater space.
Experts say it takes about forty days to break or develop a habit, which makes the forty days of Lent the perfect time to create something new in our lives. If these forty days are merely an exercise in denial that is seen as temporary, we may learn some things about ourselves, but it likely won’t change behavior in the long term.”
Lent starts Wednesday March 6th. May we use the 40-day season of Lent to put our spiritual houses in order and to seek a deeper relationship with God.
Pastor Linda Miles
This excerpt is from the March Fisherman Newsletter.
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