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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Slow Lent Movement

This idea was shared last night at a church meeting as our devotional.  I connected with the concept on two levels.  First, I find it impossible to stick with the "giving something up" part of Lent...I have no dedication!  Plus, really what does it mean when you give up chocolate or swearing?  As a matter of fact, last year I jokingly gave up listening to whining children...and I'll let you imagine how long that lasted!  Secondly, I'm finding that I am living my life at full-speed...and there is never enough time for everything.  So, after a brief introduction to the concept of "Slow Lent," I quickly bought in!


There are five basic principles or disciplines for a Slow Lent.  Each discipline first introduces the traditional thought and then adapts it to the new way of thinking.  Enjoy!

#1.  Traditional:  repentance
       Slow:  speak less, listen more

So often we listen to someone talk while already thinking about how we will respond, never really hearing what the other person was saying.  This discipline asks you to listen more carefully with your full attention.

#2.  Traditional:  forgiveness
       Slow:  let go of one grudge and one "should"

Oh, the grudge thing is hard for me!  It's just how I operate!  And I love the "should" thought.  There is so much that we feel we "should" do but don't really need to.  I'll have to chose carefully to decide what "should" I'm going to let go!

#3  Traditional:  catechesis (explained to me as preparation     
                                               for religious service)
      Slow:  re-learn one basic of the faith

This could be as simple as focusing on prayer or rereading a section of the Bible.  Make it work for you to help you build your understanding of your faith.

#4  Traditional:  fasting
      Slow:  choose one way to "unplug"

A technology fast as opposed to a food fast!  Could be as simple limiting your Facebook time to once a day or putting your phone in another room during dinner or *gasp* not blogging on the weekend.  Again, make it work for you!

#5  Traditional:  almsgiving  (tithing)
      Slow:  simplify

I think this is's that for simple?!?


See how applicable this is to today's life style?  Anyone interested in joining me on this challenge?  Drop me a comment if you are...I'd love to hear about your "Slow Lent"!

Borrowed from Bishop Margaret G. Payne of the NewEngland Lutheran Synod

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