Lent

Woke up this morning to a bit of a surprise: a light dusting of snow over everything. I had thought about going down to the shipyard to help out for the day but a combination of the snow and the fact that I’m working every non-school day next month made me stay home. I will be cherishing all the time I have to “do nothing” from here on in!
Not that I did nothing today. After some mundane house-related things, I went off on my walk. I’ve come to like walking a lot lately. During my months of serious thinking about my future, I did a lot of walking because it helped to clear my thoughts and was a good way to get away from distractions and pray as I enjoyed God’s creation. It was too good of a thing to give up and now I walk as often as I can. Though lately it has become more of a destination-focussed walk (Cadboro Bay, either the beach or the coffee shop, depending on the weather) than a walk-focussed walk.
As I’ve mentioned, I rarely listen to my iPod when I’m walking around anymore. As a result, I think I’ve been more involved in creation as I go. Rustling leaves beside the path give me a reason to pause and I’ve noticed some cute little wrens; a loud chirping (borderline obnoxious chatter) has introduced me to a new (for me) hummingbird. This morning, despite the snow, the signs of spring were everywhere.

I spent some on the walk, and at my mid-point coffee shop/journaling spot, time reflecting on last night’s Ash Wednesday service at church. It was quite a moving and thought-provoking service. I found it interesting (not coincidental though, because I don’t think it is coincidence when these things match up) that the Old Testament reading (Isaiah 58) directly related, at least in my mind, to the book I just finished reading, Three Cups of Tea. Related, at least, in the sense of vs. 6&7 of the OT reading:
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: 
to loose the chains of injustice 
and untie the cords of the yoke, 
to set the oppressed free 
and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry 
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— 
when you see the naked, to clothe him, 
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
My challenge for Lent this year is two fold; I’m not “giving up” anything, rather I want to change how I do things. 
I want to spend more time in prayer and reading/meditating on the Word, less time doing meaningless things that eat up time.
And I want to examine how I interact with my world, both my immediate circle and the greater world around me, finding ways to do the kind of fast God deems as acceptable.
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