Tomorrow is Lent and I'm certainly ready for it. I feel unfocused and un-sober in my waiting and watch for God's presence in my life. I know that I often turn to worldly things when my heart is seeking to rest in God alone. Like, when I get that late afternoon slump and I often think, "Maybe I should quit working at the computer and take a moment in prayer..." or even, "maybe I should take a rest and read a bit..." or even, "maybe I should take a small rest..." And instead, like a productive American, I reach for my friend to the left...
I love diet coke, I do. It gives me a boost in the afternoon that I often need (or think I need, perhaps I would be way more energized from a short time in prayer) and is more often than not the answer to my sweet tooth when I'm trying my very best to eat healthy. I read all the time that water would make one less hungry, have more energy, sleep better, and in general help the body run much more healthfully. I would rather have a diet coke. I told a group of kids last night (at a Lenten concert) that it isn't candy or soda that is bad, or even not good -- but Lent is for taking the time to know that the good things in life have their place. And that place should be WELL below our priority of God. So, when I'm wanting a diet coke I'll be thinking.... "oh goodness, I sure love diet coke...but God, I love you more!" So, diet coke is my fasting.
As for alms giving and prayer, no less important, I am recommitting to finding a fixed time once a week to spend in adoration. That's prayer. And when I go to the grocery store I'll be buying baby food (one of the high desired items) for the food pantry. That's alms giving. I've prayed about this, and as is typical on every Ash Wednesday I will beg God one last time that if I'm to do something different He will tell me ASAP.
I have some more ideas and thoughts, but I'm going to pray about them a bit more. I tend to start Lent out in an over-zealous, "I'm going to change it all in the next 40 days...!!!!!" and then I fall flat on my face by the first fish fry. So....easy does it. I'll let you know if I add anything else.