I realize this topic probably isn’t exciting to read, but I have decided on four facets of my life I want to spend the season of Lent improving.
1. I plan to drink a gallon of water each day. Yep, many bathroom trips are in my future. I want to do this because a few years back I made it my goal to drink two Nalgene bottle’s worth of water each day and actually wound up drinking four, which equates to a gallon. I want to drink all this water to cleanse out impurities from my system as well as help to keep food off my mind. I know it has helped before with both of these things. Also, as a singer, drinking water is a no-brainer way to take care of my voice and yet I generally neglect my voice in this way. Which is a bad idea. Also, water inherently reminds me of my baptism, and so I want to celebrate that aspect of my faith.
2. I plan to walk a mile each day. This is also on my list for both healthy lifestyle as well as religious reasons. I have fallen off the wagon with regard to exercise. It’s, simply-put, ridiculous that I don’t know when I last exercised for real. A mile is basically nothing to me, as I love walking, yet it’s a lot to suddenly add this to my life because I simply haven’t been walking in quite a while. The faith-based part is to signify the 40 years wandering in the wilderness experienced by the Israelites upon their leaving Egypt. While that’s not really related to Lent, it’s a good symbol for me as I feel like I am currently wandering in the wilderness. Specifically related to Lent, and reason for the number of days in Lent is that Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness immediately following his baptism. So in a way I will spend my 40 days considering baptism (see #1) as well as wandering, but not in the wilderness of the desert but of my mind. It will be good to have an excuse to give myself to go for a walk — because I want to achieve this goal I have set for myself and really want to try this literal interpretation.
3. I will not watch TV. This will be really difficult, but I see this as the single most source of distraction for me. It keeps me from doing things I should be doing. I watch way more than I would admit. It’s embarrassing how much time I waste each week staring at the TV. So I am freeing myself from distraction. Freeing myself up so I have time I claim I don’t have.
4. Read the Lectionary text. I have never read the Lectionary text, which the church publishes as a way to keep congregations on the same page, so to speak. I also feel that I haven’t been a good Bible reader since early in college. Completing this task each day will be the biggest challenge of them all, as I am the least disciplined in this area. I see this practice as a way of strengthening my mind as well as my heart, both of which feel really burdened right now. There are some places of hurt and heartbreak I need to address, so I feel that I am not only reading, but also taking time to sit, reflect, and just be.
I am up to this challenge! Except for TV, I am not giving up anything but instead taking up some practices that I hope will have some spill-over benefits. I have a chart I will use to keep track. I am notorious for starting something ambitious and not completing it, but I really want to do this. Wednesday is my starting line.