For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Wonderful Community Group last night. The Spirit broke through and everyone seemed to get it, to begin to understand that we who are Christians do indeed have a certain hope to which He has called us, a rich and glorious inheritance, and an immesurably great power within us—the very same power that raised Christ from the dead and set Him over all. We began to see that we can pray for one another in this spirit, that if our eyes become open to these realities—more real than anything we tend to worry about—the importance of more self-absorbed matters about which we tend to pray (if we pray at all) simply vanishes. At the end we prayed in this way for one another, perhaps the first time many of us have heard another pray for us like that.
Lent begins today, a season when Christians invite God to examine our hearts, in order to draw us closer to Himself. I get excited for it, perhaps because of the honesty that comes with the season. It's a good time to stop bullshitting and let God work on me.
I haven't fully formed the discipline and fasting I'm undertaking for Lent this year (doing so is a fairly new practice for me), but here are a few parameters:
- Use Instant Messengers only during my work lunch hour, and not during off hours
- Read Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline
- Avoid multitasking
- Dine out no more than twice weekly (unless with others)
- Have coffee out no more than twice weekly (unless with others)
- Eliminate soda
- Get up between 6:00 and 7:00 for devotional time on workdays
- Take lunch between 12:00 and 13:00 on workdays
- Go to bed between 22:00 and 23:00 on workdays
- Make my bed daily
- Call family weekly
- Get together with friends (outside of work and Community Group) weekly
- A limit on daily television time (haven't put a number to this yet; I need to)
- Maybe a weekly fast day
So much multitasking has contributed to an attention span of about 45 seconds. Instead, I want to be present more and more. I want to invest in my relationships more deliberately, with emails, letters, phone calls, and visits rather than random snippets between switching windows. I want to invest my money more deliberately, rather than letting it all trickle out on coffee and dining out. I want to invest my time more deliberately, to listen, watch, read, think, do, and be without constant interruption.