Ten days into Lent, and I find myself struggling to keep up. My prayer journal has two, three, and even four day gaps. This doesn't mean I haven't been praying for family, friends, and those who requested prayer; it only means I have not been writing it all down in my prayer journal, which was my original adopted practice for Lent.
This leaves me asking a couple questions. First, why is discipline so difficult sometimes? And, perhaps the bigger question: Am I seeking the discipline of Lent for the right reasons?
Answer number one: I am human. I am fallen. I am, by nature, prone to sin and sloth. Those are the big picture issues. On a smaller scale -- otherwise known as excuses -- I am tired, I write all day as it is, and I simply forget. For these reasons, my hope tonight is that prayer would be the breath of my soul. Now if only I could claim that beautiful thought! I stole it from a friend's facebook page. But think about it: prayer as the breath of our soul. That means we cannot spiritually live without it. Wow.
Answer number two: I hope so. And I think so. The practice of Lent caught my attention last year. I gave up my car and gained 40 awesome days of long wandering prayers (see post for day nine). Still, I think it's important to examine our motives sometimes. A friend of mine recently called mine into question, and I'm thankful he did.
In evangelical circles, Lent is not required. Thus, it can easily become "hip." Heaven forbid. When I think of Christians doing something because it's hip, I cringe. It reminds me of the story in the Bible where Jesus' disciples ask him who is going to sit next to him in heaven, which is essentially a question of who is coolest. May my faith never, ever be about me. If I am not seeking to draw closer to God and honor him with my faith, I am mistaken. Likewise, if my faith does not produce love for others, I must question its authenticity.
That is why I "do" Lent. I desperately want to call myself back into line with God. And I want to reach out to others and love them by caring about what they care about. I can do that by entering into their lives through prayer. What a privilege and joy!
And so, I stumble, but God picks me up. Also, the call for your prayer requests is still out there. Please let me know how I can join with you in this journey of life.