into the desert

[[a couple quick lenten announcements: a) rethinkchurch has provided another 40 day photo opportunity, so you will find my #40days tab contains new activity throughout this season. all will be posted on social media on their day and will follow as time allows in the tab. b) i hope to be writing more throughout lent. not because it is lent, but because i just hope to be writing more in this season of life. PSA this is not a promise, but a hope.]]

determining lenten practices and new year’s resolutions happen very much the same way for me. i realize that new year’s eve and ash wednesday are coming–and hear and see many around me either belaboring their choices, or making last second resolutions or determinations for their fastings/takings on. i have participated mostly in the latter–making last moment decisions because THE MOMENT IS ALMOST HERE!

a few years ago i began naming my new year–attempting to look into the future, or at least taking a good hard look at a growing edge–in hopes of stretching toward being a better human and more kind to myself. taking on that practice has helped me view the “deadline” of new year’s eve as really more of a suggestion, or a reminder that it is that time of year again.

and so it is also with lenten practices. truth be told, i’ve always been a “i work on thera time” sort of person–less of a working on “the world’s time” sort of person. i felt pressure from those around me, and the church, to know exactly what my lenten practices would be the moment ash hit my forehead on ash wednesday. or, preferably, before.

this is not a diatribe against being “on time”. nor is a snub of conventional time keeping. rather this is my attempt to be honest with myself and with you. today is thursday, the day after ash wedensday, and i am still not concrete on what this year’s lenten practices will look like.

and i’m okay with that.
you don’t need to be–that’s fine. although i wouldn’t waste energy on worrying about someone else’s lenten practices–but that is entirely up to you.

my plan this year, as with many years of my lenten journeys, is to wander out into the desert with the great cloud of witnesses–mindfully–and see what i see.

some of this wander will be with old friends–embracing and working with anxiety; tempering loneliness, desire to be alone and desire for community,  owning and using rather than fearing my gifts.

this wander may involve writing, it may involve fasting (food? things? unsure), perhaps creating and perhaps taking things on as mindful spiritual practices to carry through easter and into the next season.

the israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.

i’m not really in a hurry.

and besides, i enjoy the landscape.


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