So… I’ve been doing this Lent thing for the past while. This is the half way mark! I find myself asking the question;
Below is a list of 10 things I have noticed during my Lenten “40 Days of Writing” experiment:
10. I am up late writing. Sometimes its for a post that I am not sure will ever see the world wide web. Sometimes it’s a mad scramble to put something together at 12am hoping that I will get to sleep at a somewhat decent hour. Funny thing is, I would be playing Playstation 3 or watching highlights anyway during this time. I need to look at this. I don’t want to be a zombie… while zombies are cool, they really aren’t the best husbands, fathers, or pastors.
9. I can’t base my Lent experience on a mere feeling. If I did, there would be probably about 5 posts out of the 20. Depending on the right feeling is a receipe for missing the point. If that was the case, I would have quit. Lent is a discipline. That is the point.
8. Blog stats aren’t the point either.
7. “40 Days of writing” isn’t nearly as difficult as my “40 Days of Water” experience last year. Drinking water in place of all other beverages and donating the money saved to an organization working to bring clean water to the 1 billion people who do not have it was more difficult. I am happily drinking Pepsi while writing this, though it will not help my sleep issue. I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person.
6. Writing is a wonderful way to process things. Often I am not sure what I think about things until I write about them. Writing on this blog has provided a place and space to do this. It has been an exercise in finding depth. Though I may regret some things I have written, been off my rocker completely on others, I am just putting it down and seeing what happens. A very liberating experience.
5. Conversation is important.
4. Technology is crazy. I was blogging from my phone in the middle of the Canadian prairies! … THE CANADIAN PRAIRIES!
3. I look at things differently. It’s strange. It’s like I’ve found a depth in little moments that were not present before. But I don’t realize it right in the moment. I just take note of something interesting that I see, plug it into my smartphone (see technology is crazy). If I don’t plug it in somewhere I will forget because I get distracted easily and am super forgetful… think Forgetful Jones from classic Sesame Street. In the act of writing, my thoughts being vomited onto a screen is where I find any measure of depth. It’s like I peel back the layers of reality and find Jesus.
2. Accountability is important. Other people know about this thing I’m doing for lent… a bunch of them. It’s a good thing too because if it was just me and Jesus I may have bailed a long time ago. You know, because other people wouldn’t know I bailed, only Jesus. Yikes. I hope that doesn’t make me a bad Jesus follower!
1. It is life-giving. I don’t mean life-giving in the ‘feel good movie’ sorta way. I’m talking about vivification. I am talking about ‘life giving’ in the adding something to life that brings Jesus that much closer. It is a discipline that sometimes sucks… like right now I could be watching Thor on Netflix but I am needing to write. But it is important because I am reflecting on what “40 Days of Writing” has actually been doing. Whether or not there is a ‘failure’ experience within the Lenten season isn’t the point. Get back on it.
I remember last year, others who participated with me in the “40 Days of Water” forgot, or were pressured into drinking something other than water. In light of this ‘failure’ it was beautiful to see them get back at it. They didn’t dwell on the wreckage of failure and brush our experiment off like it was some trivial New Years resolution. It was life-giving. If you forget, fail, or whatever you want to call it, be blessed in knowing that it is very much a life-giving act of faithfulness to keep on keepin’ on. That is the point. It brings Jesus into the ‘failure,’ which is never a bad thing.