Rend Your Heart12 “Even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
13 Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
Joel 2:12-13 (NIV)
Tiny tears on the edge of the surface are held back by the hope that this will be redeemed. Singing the songs of the Ash Wednesday service I am reminded that this will be a time of healing and growth, change and redirection, of finding the little things I have lost. It will be a season of asking why and trusting that I cannot fully know. Despite the sadness there is joy. We are entering into Lent and I am grateful for the time to rend my heart.
Lent is a season of little changes and sacrifice. These are not flippant sacrifices, they are active things I want to do in order to live the life I was created for. They are the way I want to grieve that creation has gone terribly astray, and still we were created good.
In moments of calm honesty I am aware that my heart has questions that are going to go unanswered; nonetheless, God is redeeming this world, and I blessed to be part of it.
For lent I am trying a few different things (all of them will be put on pause as I travel in 9 days... note to self: check church calendar before buying plane tickets). Generally I do a better job of following through with things when I tell people about them so here they are:
- I want to be more grateful for the luxuries I have in my life: so I will enjoy less of them. Practically speaking: not eating out, or if I do ordering little to nothing; no shopping; no drinking; no pampering activities; no random stops at coffee shops
- I want to care for my body: eat real food, at home, that I cook with less butter and oil; no meat; no alcohol; no decadent dessert (the last 3 are more about the first category than the caring for my body one, but they kind of overlap)
- I want to be still: go to yoga and stretch at home; stay in; no clubs; no movies in the theater; all entertainment has to be slow and connect me to the thing that is entertaining me (museums, plays, quality time with friends); less random blog time; less facebook time
- I want think on all that is good: I am changing my music habits for the month. Most of the music I tend to listen to is depressing. I will listen to music with either no lyrics or praise/Christian music. I find this to be a bit terrifying as most Christian music is sub-par, but I am hopeful I will find some good stuff, and if not I will listen to Mozart.
- All of this I hope will result in more: actively seeking God time; intentional friends time; a stronger appreciation of the luxuries I take for granted; a healthier me and therefore a more whole reflection of the image of God.