Saturday, February 9, 2008

Zooming Inward for Lent

No surprise -- my key Lenten practice involves keeping a journal. Although I generally end up receiving an overabundance of Lenten journals, I don't use them. I do not want another writer's thoughts seeping into my own.

I write because I'm a writer, but also because I like having tangible, visible evidence of accountability. More accurately: I need evidence of my accountability.

Years ago, I embraced this discipline when I discovered that saying, "I'll keep you in prayer" had become a routine utterance akin to, "Hey, how are ya?" Had I, in fact, prayed for someone as promised? I decided to write out my intercessory prayers. My journal provides an integrity check.

Next, I got into the habit of writing out my prayers of petition. How often and about what was I bugging God? When and how did God come through? My journal provides a reality check about God's faithfulness and perfect timing.

Last year, during an especially difficult season of Lent, I realized I needed to focus on God's call, which I knew I could discover in mundane activities. And so, for forty days I actively contemplated every situation, every interaction, every so-called coincidence and then, in writing, answered this question: What has God revealed today about His will for my life? My journal became a guide for the rest of the liturgical year.

Right now, I can't imagine what will be revealed during this year's Lent, but at least I'll have it in writing!

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