Two and a half weeks ago I began this “40 day journey of discipline and discovery.” And, though it has only been a short time, I’ve learned quite a lot about both of those things, (and a fair amount about myself as well.)
When I first felt led to blog through this year’s Lenten season, it was in an effort to be intentional about finding God at work in some part of each day, then try to write about what I found. Pretty simple, right? I certainly thought so!
But a funny thing happened along the way through Lent. People started reading what I was writing, which, I know is the purpose for a blog, but it still has somehow come as a suprise to me. So the more people told me how much they were enjoying following along with my daily “discoveries”, the more serious the whole affair became somehow. After all, if they were taking the time to read, I didn’t want to disappoint or misuse this opportunity for God to illuminate their journies as well as my own. So, suddenly…..not so simple!
But tonight, as I was discussing possible topics for Day 17 with a friend, and my feeling of responsibility to communicate something of God’s truth through an inspirational thought, I realized I had veered, ever so slightly, away from my original goal; to find God at work in some part of each day, and to write about it. Sometimes God reveals truths or “lessons” quite clearly in easy to understand (and easy to communicate) ways. And I love those days! But there are other days when it’s so busy, or so crowded or so….ordinary, that it’s easy to argue that there was a “God-sighting” at all. And that’s the real truth about journeys. Each day is different and not all days are filled with epic adventures or parables with powerful morals.
So today I am going to reflect on why I began this journey 17 days ago.
I wanted to “set apart” something of myself to God for the 40 days of Lent. And I wanted to dedicate myself to spending intentional time discovering what God might be saying to me. Writing this Lenten blog has confirmed to me that the power of the Lenten season isn’t in what I “give up” or what I “add to” necessarily, but the true setting apart of something. In my case it is time to write each day, which means time every day to really think about and listen to ……God.
So…..in the last 17 days I have prayed, thought, read and dreamed more about God and God’s presence in my daily life than perhaps in the past…..year?! I am discovering it really is a journey, perhaps even an epic one that I have embarked on, and whether or not I have anything powerful, or funny, or meaningful to say in a blog, the true power I am experiencing is the presence of God through it all. It’s hard to explain, but it’s as though God asked me to commit to these daily blogs to get my attention….to interrupt the normal course of my Christian life and draw me in closer somehow. Although my intention was to think more about God through Lent, I am learning that this time together has meaning beyond lessons or stories or devotions.
If there is a benefit or help to anyone for whom I am blessed enough to have reading every day, that is a gift from God. But today I realized the real “gift” I thought I was giving God by offering time to sit down and write is really God’s gift to me.
That’s today’s discovery, and one truly revealed through discipline. I pray my heart continues to be open to God’s work in my daily life, but also…..in me.
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14