The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. 1 Thessalonians 5:24

This is the fourth week in Lent, and my energy for my Lenten journey is in need of a revival. This is the first time in years I have not been consistent in my Lenten spiritual practices: scripture reading, meditating, praying, reading an inspirational Lenten book for 40 days and writing my reflections in my journal. I miss my daily time in silence, sitting with God. It is a time of deep reflection, which brings fresh insights; my soul is restored and my connection to God, people, and myself is strengthened. Well, what happened? How can I get back on track?

Tower of stones along side a sidewalkLife is what happened. You know how it is: The day starts earlier and extends later; the planned activities are pushed aside to take action on the “do it now”; and the time set aside for my contemplation and reading is postponed until the right time, but I fall asleep before the perfect time arrives.

I’m not making excuses. Really. I’m just saying that this is what happened, and I want, I need the 40 days of Lent to get my spiritual life energized and revived. This year it would have been easier to give up candy, television, or other ways I reward myself than it has been to spend focused time with God. I can’t seem to string together a full week of completing my Lenten practices: writing, reading, praying, and meditating.

Photo Credit: Kathryn Currey (used by permission)

Photo Credit: Kathryn Currey (used by permission)

I sit down, open my journal, and discover that the last time I reflected on scripture and my inspirational reading was two or L three days back. Or I sit down to read and write, then my mind fills with all the things I need to do or with things I did do that I might have done differently. I have random thoughts that take my mind away from listening for God.  As the apostle Paul said, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15).

The good news is that when we seek God, God runs to us just as the father ran to meet and embrace his prodigal son. I can get back into the rhythm of my Lenten journey by a repentance and a revival that will restore my soul and my joy.

As I draw closer to God, I will:

  1. Repent of being self-critical and show compassion to myself by releasing expectations of perfection. I can miss a few days and just start again, realizing that all shall be well; God rewards faithfulness.
  2. Give up competing with my former self and accept that my experience has changed and that my ritual will change too.
  3. Include walks in nature as part of my Lenten practice. Not only will I get healthier spiritually, but healthier physically too. When we give attention to our whole selves–physical, emotional, and spiritual—then we live well and flourish.
  4. Avoid thinking about my missed days as a failure. Instead, I will listen to what God wants me to learn:

. . .but [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for [my] power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me—2 Corinthinans 12:9

  1. Invite others to journey with me and when I miss the planned reading, I can listen to their insights, benefit from their wisdom, and enjoy their companionship on my journey.

#LiveHealthyBeWell

Meditations from my Daniel Fast for Lent three years ago: