It seems like Christmas was just yesterday and already Lent is upon us. Our culture today is increasingly short term - getting people to sign up for anything which stretches indefinitely into the future is challenging, but most of us can manage to commit ourselves to do something for the six weeks of Lent. And the good news is that research shows us that it takes about six weeks to form a habit!
So which Lenten discipline might we consider for 2020? What is going to be of most benefit for our growth as disciples of Jesus? For some of us it might be good to take up something new, like joining a Lent study group or committing to daily bible readings. Others may want to fast from something for the season or for one day a week. This may be physical fasting from food, or alcohol, or chocolate - or perhaps a lifestyle fast, cutting out social media or television. The key thing is that all these disciplines serve to help us focus more on God, making some space in our lives to pray and listen to him. Perhaps we may want to do something we are already doing, but more intentionally and regularly, with more focus and giving a little more time and effort to it.
Discipline is hard work! If our souls, bodies and minds are not stretched by our Lenten endeavours, we are probably not being disciplined enough. I hope and pray that all of us who take up new spiritual disciplines for Lent will build healthy habits which stay with us and help us mature as followers of Jesus Christ well beyond Holy Week. The greatest discipline of all is probably learning how to love one another and build each other up in the love of Christ. It does all require a great deal of effort - but also appropriate rest.
May you feel God's Blessings with you throughout the Lenten season and evermore.