I’ve had a few conversations and read a bit about the various things people have been giving up for lent. I really didn’t have anything specific that I felt that strong about fasting. I don’t know what that says about me but I have given up one thing, kind of by accident. I’ve given up my quiet time.
Weird? Maybe, but I’m beginning to realise how much I needed it. It wasn’t that reading the bible and praying had been a pain for a while and I just got to a point where I couldn’t any more. It really wasn’t. I just realised one day that I didn’t HAVE TO read my bible. It was a weird revelation and, like a lot of Christians, I was first hit by a sense of guilt. That surprised me. I thought I’d been reading my bible, talking to God and just enjoying that part of my morning routine for all the right reasons. My intentions had always been good so why did I feel like God was going to make me sit in the corner to think about what I’d done?
And that made me realise that I needed to put my bible away for more than just a few days and I haven’t picked it up yet. That it began during the first week of lent was totally coincidental. I do talk to God. I’ve never stopped believing that He’s here with me and that He loves me. But I will not sit down for another session of guilt induced religiosity. I want to want that time with God. I’ve wanted it before and it was pure bliss.
I guess the problem is that the line between spiritual discipline and empty religiosity is very fine indeed. It’s one thing to do something that helps you grow, even when you don’t feel like it. It’s another thing when you do it to be good enough. And I’m walking that tightrope right now. It’s tricky and sometimes precarious, but I know I’ll get to the other side some day. I’m not in a hurry, but I’ll let you know when I get there.