Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lenten Spiritual Practice... Found!

So... I guess when you're back to blogging, you're really back to blogging. That's all I'm going to say about that. Marie reminds me that blogging about blogging is the most boringest thing ever.

Yesterday I talked about feeling sort of floundering when it comes to finding my own Lenten practice. It can't really be to commit to going to the communion services every week (done) or going to small group every week (done) or doing a Bible study every week (done) or attending a contemplative prayer service (done) or catching up on scripture readings (done) or having a special prayer time (done). I already do all of those things. Believe me I'm not saying that to toot my spiritual horn. In fact, quite the opposite. The very fact that I do do (doo doo, ha) all those things further complicates the quest for a spiritual practice. I do all of that stuff already because it's my job. Yes, I love my job, but it's still my job. It's hardly a discipline that refreshes and renews and restores. So for me, I need a practice this lent that will take me to a new place, a quiet place... a place where I get to be the observer and the follower, not the leader. Last night I figured out I've been there for about a week. That place is Mitford.

See, last Sunday I started to read the Mitford Series. The Mitford Series is a series about a small town preacher, Father Tim, and the adventures in his little town. The author, Jan Karon, is so descriptive in her writing that you can smell the apple pie baking. There's even little line drawings of the town so you can see where the diner is in relation to the tiny chapel. I love these books, because they take me away. They are spiritual for me in that Father Tim is an excellent minister. He's humble and kind. He quotes scripture. He has a dog named Barnabas. For the past week, I've been travelling to Mitford in my spare time. While I'm waiting for my tacos I read about Dooley and his endeavour to earn a new red bicycle. As I'm drifting off to sleep, I get caught up in the story of Cynthia, and I wonder if she's going to get that heart transplant after all. While I'm waiting for a breakfast meeting to begin, I wonder who ate Father Tim's lunch from the church refrigerator, and I wonder if it's the same person that ate that angel food cake a couple of weeks ago. It's a perfect, perfect place for this pastor to go this lent. It occurred to me last night, as I was reading, that this is my spiritual practice for lent. I've already been doing it for a week, it has all of the components of a spiritual discipline. Reading these books refreshes me and deepens my faith, and I have to make a conscious effort to dedicate some time to it. Also, it is enjoyable which is, for me, a prerequisite of a healthy spiritual practice. Why practice something you hate?)

So, this Lent, in addition to all of those Lenten practices I will be doing, I will be reading the Mitford Series. I'll give a report at the end of Lent.

How about you?

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