In her recent workshop on well-being (a really interesting conversation for those who missed it!), Fay said, “You really need to practice something for at least 6 weeks if you want to have any hope that it will stick, become a habit; six months would be better.”
Lent is the church offering us six weeks before Easter to make a difference — when we can prepare, grow, change and help ourselves to be in better shape to welcome the Resurrected One on Easter morning.
This year we have a rich offering of prompts towards various Lenten disciplines — that which we might give up or take on as practice for our lives going forward.
During the seminar on well-being, someone said, “With Lent coming up, maybe we could ask people to focus on their own mental, physical, emotional wellness.” I followed up with Fay and we came up with a host of suggestions.
The Worship SLG went another way, thinking of Lent as a season wherein we might become more aware of our carbon footprints and see if there are things to be let go of or taken on such that we might be leading more sustainable lives. We found a bunch of suggestions along that too, and they are included.
Here’s the sheet of prompts for Giving Up and Taking On.
And here’s the instructions. Choose one of the prompts and try to keep it.
If you are really gungho, choose 1 from Giving up and 1 from Taking On, and see if you can keep them both as an animating part of your life for Lent.
Here’s a little secret I realized making the list. Giving Up and Taking On are often so closely related that you can hardly differentiate the two. Somehow like the blessings and curses we will read about in this Sunday’s Gospel reading (Luke 6:20-26). Sometimes I wasn’t even sure which side of the page to put a suggestion on! For example…
Giving up plastic bags is taking on reusable ones.
Giving up stress eating might well be taking more walks.
Obeying the speed limit is giving up the need to get there so fast.
Moving constantly for 15 -30 minutes a day could involve giving up more than just a sedentary lifestyle.
They are all sort of light, and deliberately doable — there’s no need in taking on too much and setting ourselves up for failure. Instead, let’s succeed in little ways, that we might go on to more.
The Lenten Suppers are going to be about what we hope to change in our lives. Your Lenten Discipline might turn out to be what you talk about…
There will be color sheets with the titles of each of the suggestions on the back wall of the Sanctuary on Sunday. You are invited to just right your name right on the sheet on the wall of the suggestion you are undertaking for Lent. A sign of your commitment.
See you in church,