While I certainly cannot compare my low-key antics with those in the Big Easy or Carnivale, I am enjoying my Fat Tuesday before the Lenten season begins tomorrow.
While I’ve never been much for “giving up” something for Lent, this year, I am intentionally making a point of focusing on making concerted changes in a variety of areas on my life for specific reasons.
#1 – No Alcohol
With the exception of the wine served at Holy Communion, I am abstaining from alcohol for the entirety of Lent. People who know me well know I enjoy good beer (and even not-so-good beer). However, I recognize that it is unhealthy, it makes me sluggish, and that I don’t need it. So, I’m going to experiment with having no alcohol for forty days and see how I feel at the end. Maybe I’ll go back to having a beer or two or a couple glasses of wine with a good meal or with friends at a gathering. But maybe I won’t. I am also quite aware of the calorie count associated with most alcoholic drinks. Considering I weigh the most I have in my life, I could certainly stand to shed a few pounds. Abstaining from my malty beverages should help with that as well.
#2 – Practice a Lenten Devotional
Just because someone is preparing for ministry doesn’t mean their spiritual life is just as it should be. I often find that I am too quick to jump into the business of the day and neglect setting aside time with God. As such, I am making a point of leveraging a daily Lenten devotional to re-instill my daily morning ritual of prayer and thanksgiving. I will be using a devotional created by Luther Seminary, which can be found here if you’d like to use it. It’s relatively brief, so there’s no excuse for not using it daily. I plan to use this devotional with my family at the end of each day before bed in addition to my morning routine.
#3 – Attending to My Writing
I started this blog a few years back with the intention of chronicling my journey to ordained ministry and beyond. Frankly, I’ve done a pretty poor job doing that. Writing is a good practice for anyone, especially if you need to be able to communicate to others in a meaningful and clear way. In addition to being somewhat therapuedic, writing this blog helps me to hone this skill. (And hopefully others might find some value in it as well.) As such, I will post something every day during Lent. I hope it will be particularly insightful, but no guarantees. In any case, I will post something–maybe brief and frank, maybe long and insightful–but something.
#4 – Move This! (Shake that Body!)
No, I’m not part the 90’s electronic group Technotronic but I will be taking their advice over the next forty days: I’m gonna “move this.” I am not one who likes to exercise. I hate the idea of “working out” or doing physical activity only for the sake of doing physical activity. However, I have found enjoyment in activities as simple as taking the dog for a walk. So, I will be implementing a practice of walking Shortie (our Carin Terrier) when the weather permits, and doing some other upper lower-body focus work. This is because, today is not only Fat Tuesday, it’s lose-some-fat Tuesday.
Whether or not you choose to do anything during the Lenten season, do me a solid favor and help keep me accountable. While none of this seems too hard, it will definitely be a challenge for me. But if Jesus could do forty days in the wilderness, I think I can do forty days of this. If not, I have some serious #FirstWorldProblems.