Spring Growth During Lent Posted by PeggeBernecker at 3/27/2009 3:10 PM CDT http://www.chron.com/channel/houstonbelief/commons/searching.html
Spring Growth during Lent
When I hear the word “Lent” I initially think of Christianity, forty days, and a time of spiritual discipline and purification. However, do you know that the word “Lent” also means “spring?” It can be valuable to notice the significance of “spring” in terms of spiritual discipline and practice.
If you were given forty days to practice “springing” something new in your life, what would that be? Imagine how your life might feel and look if … (pause to take a minute to think about this, right now!)
Picture what you want to bud or grow alive in you. Ponder: “what can I move towards?” instead of a slightly restrictive quest of “what can I give up?” While the process of giving something up is good, it can be a limiting or contracting way of thinking, acting, and being. Give yourself permission to believe in expansion and possibility. Let this be the foundation for your action.
So, I ask myself—and you—this question: What needs to shift in me if I want to think, act, and love in a way that is healthy and life-giving for myself and the people who encounter me? In other words, “what characteristics and behaviors do I hold as an ideal, that I want to move towards?” Asking this question shifts our intention and motivation, enabling permanent, significant change beyond forty days.
You might have an easy time with this reflection, and incorporate guidance from an existing prayer practice or spiritual discipline. You may have a relationship with God, the Holy One, or the Divine that guides you in knowing what needs to spring alive in you. Maybe you seek a relationship with the transcendent other and that in itself is what springs alive in you, needing attention. Perhaps at this time in your life you desire to live a life of significance and meaning—within your fullest human potential—without a relationship with God, organized religion, or another community of spiritual practice. Wherever this time of your life finds you, it is always good to occasionally stop, access, evaluate, and act anew.
Will you give yourself permission to grow new life through your discipline, prayer, and spiritual practice? How will your Lenten fast plant seeds for the fifty day Christian Easter season feast? Although only two weeks remain in the traditional Lenten season, what needs to thaw and break apart so new life can spring alive in you, bringing wholeness and healing to the world you inhabit?