Monday, February 15, 2010

Loving a Person

I've decided to take Lent seriously this year. And by seriously I mean, I am filled with joy and excitement about the season of Lent. I know. It's strange, right? Because Lent is the time when you give something that you really love in an act of penitence and contrition to remind us of how weak we are and how much we suck at life and how much we need Jesus and how He died for us because we can't even last 40 days without chocolate, coffee or Facebook. Right? True, Lent is maybe not in the running for gold medal of the holiday olympics. How can anyone hold a candle to Christmas? But it's about so much more than just giving up something convenient or generally delicious. I'm not exactly sure what that is, and I actually don't think that I will know at the end of this Lenten season, but I do anticipate some serious lessons being learned during this time of reflection and anticipation and remembrance and celebration this year. I can't explain it, I just know inside my spirit that I'm excited about this.

So here's a little of what my Lent plan is. Please don't read this as in a "look how awesome I am and all my plans for Lent this year. I'm such a good Christian, after Lent this year, I won't even NEED Easter." Not. True. But I know my heart so well, that I don't even feel like I need that disclaimer because I know how excited I am by all of this.

It is going to be a serious challenge in a lot of ways, but again, it seems fun to me. Note: I am one day in. I have already nearly failed several times, and probably have unwittingly failed.

The plan:
Traditional orthodox Great Lent fast.
No meat.
No dairy.
No eggs.
No fish.
No secular music.
No alcohol.
Do blog every day.
Do Scripture read every day.
Do pray.
Do read Book of Common Prayer every day.
Do read small group book every day.
Do read non-fiction every day.
Do read fiction every day.
Do celebrate Sabbaths/Sundays as "little Easters" aka. all rules rendered null. aka Party like it's 1999!

I also wanted to avoid: caffeine and extra sugar.
Read: No chocolate. No sugar added to my caffeine-free tea.

As I hate vegetables as a general rule, this fast is going to be incredibly difficult. I'm still undecided about the use of soy products as meat replacements and dairy replacements. I don't know if that counts as cheating. I'm going to try to do without them, but if I do start using soymilk and soyburgers, I don't think it's going to negate my entire experience.

Things I will be praying about especially during this time:
1. Direction and provision for this summer.
Some options:
Halo goes to Finland in August
Halo rehearses for Finland in June/July in Indiana
Halo rehearses somewhere else
Halo rehearses at a different time
Commonway sends a delegation to Kazakhstan in June/July
NRO festival in Breckinridge (if I am invited)
2. Direction and provision for the fall.
Some options:
3. My friends.
Want me to pray for you? In general? About something specific? Let me have it! Because I'm committed to this. I've got you covered!

Things I have been thinking about.
1. My pride.
2. My tendency to open my mouth without thinking.
3. Am I called to wander or to settle? (Thanks Laura.)
4. The Pillar of Cloud/Fire that led the Israelites.

I've also decided to stop posting the lyrics for the songs that I attach to these posts. I've also decided to stop ALWAYS attaching a song to a post, unless I want to. I have felt in the past obligated to ... even though I'm only obligated to myself, but I have freed myself from it. Most will probably still have musical associations because that's how my brain and heart work together, but not all of them.

Today's does, though. And this song is related to the "Thing I have been thinking about. 1. My pride." I was listening to Donald Miller read Blue Like Jazz and he was talking about really liking people. And how people won't listen to you if you don't actually like them. They can tell when you're pretending. And I feel recently that I have been doing that. Like what I have to say or the way I live if more important or better than the way they do and they should change. And I'm going to pretend to like them and pretend I want them to change for their own good. So then this song came on my iTunes today and it seemed incredibly appropriate.

Sara Groves: Loving a Person

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