Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lent and the art of reframing

"Use Lent to reframe the rhythm of your life."

A friend said this last night and it hit me squarely in the heart. Being the word lover, I've been chewing on this for a while now.

Reframe: to express a word, concept or plan differently.

What does it look like to reframe the rhythm of my life this Lenten season so I'm in a space where I can hear God better? Sad thing is, my life has been so busy that I haven't had a chance to even ponder this thought. Until last night -- the eve of Ash Wednesday.

I don't Lent well. (Like how I used that as a verb? Sort of like my other favorite non-verb, Adult. Do you adult well? I digress...)

Lent, the 40 days of preparation, reflection and inner examination leading up to Easter and the celebration of Christ's resurrection, "gives us the opportunity to reorient our focus toward Jesus in a world that calls loudly for our attention in so many ways," according to Thomas Christianson. It also "gives us a chance to create specific plans so that through our actions, we may train our heart to grow in love for Christ."

Lent is hard for me at times because of the crud it dredges up from inside my heart. It's hard to look at those things. But it's also good because it turns my heart toward the hope of restoration that Christ brings.

In the past, I've given up for Lent things I felt were good, but had an unhealthy hold on my attention and time (TV, social media, listening to music in the car.) The time away from these things was always hard the first few days, but helped me see how I sometimes used them as crutches or distractions instead of dealing with situations. Removing them from my life for a time allowed me to develop better habits and wiser uses for my time. When I re-introduced these things back into my life, they didn't have the same control they once did.

Last year, I adopted the Reverse Lent Challenge, a neat way in which I could love people well through the written word.

So what does this all have to do with reframing the rhythm of my life this Lenten season? The truth is, I don't know. I've been too tired and sleep-deprived to think about it. But I want to know. Perhaps a good start is trying to un-busy my life over the next 40 days and be intentional about creating space for down time (and better sleep) so I can wrestle with this question.

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