Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. —Matthew 6:28-29 (KJV)
As we enter our second week of Lent, may I suggest we tie our wellness goals to the Lenten season to connect our physical wellness to our spiritual wellness. We can commit to making a small change for a short period of time—40 days—and pay attention to how the change makes a difference in our well-being, possibly motivating us to keep going and begin a lifestyle change.
Following the above verse, Jesus offers these words, “Do not worry. . .” (v. 34). “Don’t worry. I take care of the beautiful flowers, and you are my wondrous creation” (Psalm 139). “I am taking care of your needs too.” This means, Hilda, do not worry about things that you cannot control. I become anxious when I expect to have more control over events in my life. “If they would just do what I want.” But life teaches me how much I can control—Not Much.
This means for Lent I will focus on what I can manage: my thoughts, my prayer life, my words. I will take on the spiritual practice of centering prayer. This will improve both my spiritual and physical wellness. I continue to work to reduce my elevated blood pressure. (Update: after my doctor visit last week, my numbers were better—140/72!). But to keep them from creeping up, I have to do more of what works.
Practicing silence works. For Lent, I intend to add 5 minutes of meditation to my morning. Five minutes! Before my feet hit the floor, before I begin any other morning routine, before I start thinking of things I need to do, I will do what works to keep me well: 5 minutes of meditation. Before I began being daycare for my granddaughter, I could sit for 20-30 minutes. But things change, and I have to make adjustments if I want to make my well-being a priority.
Centering Prayer and Meditation. I have used both meditation and centering prayer for many years. I found the main difference to be in focus. Centering prayer draws us closer in our relationship to God. Meditation helps us to connect to ourselves. I believe it doesn’t matter what I call my time of silence; what does matter is that I am centering my attention on God in the silence. I release worry and the need to control. I receive God’s peace and joy.
Join Me on the Journey
Linda’s Journey to Walk Daily:
I improved a bit over the previous week. It is good to walk, but even better when it’s a habit. To help with habit building I need promptings, for now, it seems. I am wearing a Fitbit that gives me reminders to move every hour if I’ve been stationary too long. Now and then I actually pay attention to it and use that opportunity to walk outside instead of pacing my office. Today is a wet and dreary day, but because of motivation via weekly, honest email check-ins, I am going outside anyway. Being in God’s creation even when the weather is not bright sunshine and warm breezes is still an eye- and spirit-opening experience.
My Lenten Practice of Fasting
During Lent, I offer you a series, Pray4DanielFast, I wrote three years ago, to which I return when I begin a Lenten fast. My fast looks different today, not restrictive, but selective; but I continue to benefit from the meditations. Each week I will post one for each day. Let me know what you think. (Oh, please continue to list your daily joys—it matters!)