The Last Days

The wind down of Lent was uneventful in some ways but also pleasing at progress made. No great last insights. But a moving and memorable Easter. This blog has been fun. Thanks to all 3 of you who have followed it. I hope it has helped you process Lent in some small way. It was mostly for me. But now I say farewell to the blogging world. This is cessionite signing off.

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Day 33

A better day but the residual shame lingers. Is it possible that Lent achievement itself becomes an idol? Of course it is. Not much more to say other than I am more convinced than ever that it is engagement with God rather than abstinence which makes the difference. One creates the platform for the other. But abstinence on its own is not a relationship with God.

Has your Lent goal become an idol in any way?

Day 30 – 32

A funny thing happened these past 2 days. After a sustained period of doing the Lent thing pretty well I “lost it”. All the more distressing after Sunday’s
reveal”. I think I got lonely. Turns out that the fading desire for the subject of my Lent goal was just hidden by a good patch of life. Turned out temptation was still there waiting for me when I needed her.

Any of this ring true for you?

Day 26 – 29

A week of Lent observance and a strong sense of rhythm emerging from the willpower. It seemed to start with willpower overwhelming desire, then a sense of choice that became easier to make and now at times the desire itself seems to have been transformed. One of the things I have noticed is that some of the lies I tell myself about how I live my life have been exposed in those moments. When the desire is changed and the script is exposed in that moment of realisation that I no longer wish to even engage the behaviour. If I don’t wish to do it any more then I don’t need the lie. It’s a strange thing the human spirit.

Have you noticed any shifts in perspective at the more instinctive level? Are there any lies being exposed?

If a blog falls in the wilderness and…

Day 25

Sunday was a cool day. Again I noticed some really different responses in me to situations where I would likely have made other choices. I’m not sure whether this is spiritual growth. Merely getting better at my Lent goal is not the issue. What I am seeing here is a rejection of a behaviour as a way of replacing God in a very small sense. I guess that makes it spiritual growth. I really related to what Jacob said in the Lent interview as well about the impact of discipline generally. Rhett made an interesting comment on compassion and whether its the cost of compassion that makes it compassion? It made me think about Lent – whether the sacrifice in a Lent goal is what creates growth. No real sacrifice? No growth?

Would you choose a different kind of Lent goal in 2010 based on your experience in 2009?

Day 24

I was outside my comfort zone during the day with different choices on offer and a more challenging environment. Still, the temptation factor did not play a big part. Interestingly I am starting to lose my desire for some things I have given up. Not everything though. I could really go a [ ] right now.

Are your desires being affected by your Lent goal as opposed to your willpower?

Day 23

Yesterday was another solid day of living the Lent thing. Nice. Not much more to say.

Think of a cunning question you could ask yourself. Then answer it.

Day 22

I am beginning to see some physical results with my Lent goal – by this I mean things that are not overtly spiritual. The discipline for one thing is helpful for other areas of life. But also changes that mean I will operate a little differently in the future. On the spiritual side of the equation (not that I want to compartmentalise) this is more of a struggle to see. Mostly this is because I am still seeing the wrestling aspects of this more clearly than I am seeing the fruit aspects. Am I more loving and joyous and kind and patient as a result of this? Well sometimes I am MORE grumpy as I deal with the frustration of self-denial. Maybe I should give up being grumpy for Lent?
How would you distinguish between the physical and spiritual fruit you ae beginning to see?

Special Post

This week I was approached to be the final Lent interviewee for the Espresso Jesus series. Do you think I should do it? Should I conceal my identity to protect the innocent (me)? Is anyone reading this? Or this?

Tell me what to do with this request.

Day 21

An awesome day in Lent land! As this Lent goal takes hold of me more fully, I find myself with a greater zest for life that is not connected to anything in particular except a sense of freedom. Those things that seem to offer us freedom or at least a way out, so often bind us even more closely to our human frailty. The ultimate bait and switch: it looks like free will leading to self expression and fulfilment but it is actually a narrowing of options and a lowering of expectation. I will eat chocolate because that is all I have.

Are you finding insights into your own default choices as you ponder your lent goal and the way you live?

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