This Lent, we’re on a journey to carve out space between despair and hope. Space between the war in Ukraine and the peace for which we long. Space in our lives between what keeps us up at night and contentment.
Lent invites us to stop pretending that we have unlimited energy or endless time to do what is meaningful. Lent offers a clear-eyed look at reality so we can attend to the values we cherish most.
Think about the non-negotiables of your day. Pick one, pick two as a way to prioritize what matters to you. Here are some suggestions, adapted from author Kate Bowler, to help us think about our bare essentials:
Say “I love you” to your spouse or child or beloved pet. Get outside. Be creative. Slow down. Do that one boring thing you have been avoiding. Be frivolous. Call a friend. Play with a grandchild.
As we journey this path together, receive Bowler’s A Blessing for Slowing Down.
Blessed are we who thought we were self-made by the doing, by the accolades, by the accomplishments, and by the gold stars. We measured our worth by how tired we were every morning, how many special events we missed because of work, by how many times we answered “How are you?” with “Busy.” We thought: This is the good life.
But then we grew tired and lonely. We felt the strain on our relationships and our spiritual lives. And we became a bit miserable to be around.
So blessed are we who stop – okay, maybe not stop entirely, who are we kidding – but who slow down. We who discover rest and new life and renewal when we step off the treadmill (or at least turn it down). We who remember that the world keeps spinning without us. And thank God for that. We who remember that we are loved, loved, loved. Not for what we do, but for who we are.
How has your understanding of ‘the good life’ been shifting?
-Written by Rev. Ann Palmerton
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