I know, I know. How can it be called a weekly e-votional when I haven’t been very good about writing weekly lately? Between the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday, annual meetings, board meetings, officer training, and all sorts of other things, my e-votionals have just been kind of swept under the rug. Like all habits, the longer you go without doing it, the easier it is to get out of the habit of doing it. The opposite side of this is that the more you participate in a habit, the easier it is to keep doing it. This is true of spiritual practices, as well.
Lent is a great time to begin a new spiritual practice. Usually the practices associated with Lent are almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. We usually talk about fasting, about what we are giving up. I am giving up chocolate. I am giving up caffeine. I am giving up Facebook. Please understand these are examples only, now what I, personally, am giving up!
I have long thought that it is better to add a spiritual practice than to give something up. “Give up” an half hour a day to read scripture or pray. “Give up” a television show each evening to spend Bible study with the family. “Give up” some money and perform a random act of kindness each day. The pope proposed that we give up being indifferent to our neighbors. Pastor and author Mike Slaughter said it more bluntly, “give up being a jerk”.
Whatever you do, don’t do it to become more healthy or become a better person. If you give something up or add something, do it so that you grow closer to God. Lent is a time of reflection, transformation, and preparation for the events of crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. What better time to add a new spiritual practice?