Jan here. I’m enjoying a quiet day of reflection and challenge, especially around the idea of Lent.
Lent is not a tradition that I grew up with, but I’ve enjoyed watching and hearing how individuals and various faith communities observe it. I like its call to be intentional about letting go of earthly distractions and drawing closer to God—particularly in relationship to preparing our hearts for taking in the passion of Christ, his suffering and resurrection, and what that means to each of us personally as his children in living this life in him.
So I’ve felt stirred to consider ways to incorporate the parts I understand into living out my worship of God—though I admit I tend to approach it somewhat nontraditionally.
In that nontraditional vein, let’s bring the observation of Lent a bit closer to home as authors looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). How might the ideas around Lent present a worthy challenge for us as a writers and speakers?
Consider . . .
The tradition: Very simplified, Lent is a 40-day commitment which involves prayer, fasting, and giving. It culminates in the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.
What would it be like for me to set apart time—40 days, 40 hours, even 40 minutes a day—to focus on aligning my heart to God’s in regard to my writing and speaking?
How might I be quiet and listen to what God has to say about how I am going about my writing—from every angle he brings to mind? What can I change in how I write or speak so that what I do more closely reflects his work and heart?
What am I holding onto that I need to let go of? What in my life can I set aside for a time (or for good) so that I am setting my heart toward knowing God well and communicating his heart more clearly to others?
In what ways do I need to surrender my writing and speaking to God? What is one way I can acknowledge and honor my writing or speaking as a gift from him and offer it freely in service?
And culminating in celebration
How can I plan to conclude my 40 days, hours, or minutes in celebration with God? Then, how will I continue to incorporate God-focused celebration in the daily rhythm of my writing, speaking, and ministry?
I do wonder at this moment what will come of setting a time apart with this Lenten-style focus. I’ll let you know on the other end. Will you join me?
Jan writes nonfiction from her home in the foothills of the California Sierras. She is currently working on more material for the teen/ya audience and for those who deeply care about them. She also enjoys life coaching and mentoring writers. Visit her site at www.jankern.com.