Touché March 3, 2017
Posted on March 3, 2017 by under Touché,

 

What Are You Taking On For Lent?

“I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.”  (Psalm 4:8)

The Doobie Brothers in the 70’s lamented on an album cover: “What Were Once Vices are Now Habits.”  Lent is the season of forty days to shape new, positive habits.  The Bible sees forty days as significant in transforming lives.  Forty days to turn momentary graces into habits of the heart.

Think of the forty days throughout scripture.

  • It rained for forty days in the flood.
  • Moses was on Mount Sinai for forty days.
  • It was forty days that Goliath taunted Israel before David appeared.
  • Elijah was forty days on Mt. Horeb before he heard that “still, small voice.”
  • Ezekiel laid on his side for forty days for the sin of Israel
  • Jonah spent forty days in Nineveh calling for repentance, and it came.
  • Jesus was in the desert forty days tempted by the devil.
  • Jesus appeared for forty days after his resurrection before his ascension.

Forty days is a biblical time for God to reshape us. This Lenten forty days I am taking on a practice that I hope will be shaped into a habit.  The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience. In the evening when I put my head on the pillow at the end of the day I will reflect on these questions of Examen:

  • When did I give and receive the most love today? When did I give and receive the least love today?
  • What was the most life-giving part of my day? What was the most life thwarting part of my day?
  • When today did I have the deepest sense of connection with God, others, and myself? When did I have the least sense of connection?
  • Where was I aware of living out the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control)? Where was there any absence of the fruit of the Spirit?

I hope that after forty days these questions are habits of my heart that will shape me and make me every day.  I encourage you to take something on these forty days that will shape the habits of your heart. Forty days can make a difference.

In Him,      Taylor