March 5, 2014 is Ash Wednesday. It’s the first day of Lent.
Here are some unexpected possibilities of things to give up for Lent.
- First place in line.
- The last piece of pie.
- Second thoughts about commitments.
- “Just five minutes more” (when they keep you from family).
- The last word.
- A fifth. Of something.
- A quarter-pounder.
- Forty cents a day. (It adds up to $12 a month and over a year and with 100 other people, gives a village in Africa water.)
- 1400 characters (or a day without tweeting).
- Three scowls.
- A second helping.
- The last place in line, which demonstrates just how humble we actually are.
- Dave’s Top Ten list (or whatever kept you from turning off the TV and going to bed last night.
- Six simultaneous projects.
- 10 minutes of frantic activity.
- The Final Four [pool] that consumes your attention for a month.
- One argument.
- A fourth pair of shoes.
- Eating alone.
- 12 disciples (Jesus did it. At the end. Course, they left him. So never mind).
- 8 minutes on the snooze.
- A second glance.
- The first 15 parking places closest to the door.
- A five minute well-justified rant about the way that person completely mistreated you when they cut you off as you were driving…
- One minute of worry each hour.
- 30 minutes that could have been filled with, “Wait, what did I do with that 30 minutes?”
- 49 cents for a stamp on an envelope with a piece of paper that says, “I love you.”
- 60 minutes a week to converse with someone about God. (or read 300 words).
- Friday. (or any one day that you spend willingly on the well-being of someone else.)
- Credit. (for number 29)
- An extra coat.
- $10,000. (Maybe you could.)
- My will (let’s go with Your will instead).
“How can I hear God better?”
One way is by learning to pay attention. “Lent For Non-Lent People” is a seven-week guide to learning to listen for God. In this short book, pastor and social media chaplain Jon Swanson helps readers use the season of Lent to learn to focus on God by:
-Learning how to break habits of distraction and busyness;
-Learning how God spoke to a prophet in depression after a big event
-Listening to Jesus talk to an ostracized woman, to a close friend, and to the enemy of our souls.
In the appendix, Jon shares his own story of Lent and the loss of a child.
Whether or not you grew up with Lent, this book can help you listen for God.
(post last updated February 25, 2014)