Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Last year I attended an Ash Wednesday service with a group of fellow Truett students. We were in, uh, Israel! Oh, Galilee, I miss thee. This year I experience it here in Lufkin. Two vastly different places. One very same meaning.
As my friend and wedding officiant extraordinaire Chris Gibson and I were having one of our many convos while wandering around the biblical sights, she mentioned that she usually fasts from something during Lent but also adds something to her life as well. I decided to put both into practice this year. She’s a wise lady.
Fast: Social media on my phone. No more checking twitter while riding in the car with Walker. No more thumbing through news feed on Facebook while at dinner with friends. Here’s to being present in the here and now. Fully engaged in the people with whom I’m experiencing the here and now. And maybe those times when I’m checking statuses while waiting in lines or pumping gas can be spent in small moments of prayer.
Addition: Reading the entire New Testament in 40 days. The FBC staff has decided to do this together, and I’m kinda tagging along.
“Ash Wednesday confronts us with what we have become and prods us to do better. Indeed, Lent, we learn on Ash Wednesday, is not about abnegation, about denying ourselves for the sake of denying ourselves. It is about much more than that. It is about opening our hearts one more time to the Word of God in the hope that, this time, hearing it anew, we might allow ourselves to become new as a result of it.” –Chittister, 118-9.