Catching up…and slowing down

Sometimes we all need a catch-up day…one of those days when you go through the backlog correspondence, work assignments, unread articles and unfiled paperwork and just get back on top of it all.

Today is catch-up day for the blog. If you follow regularly, you know I had been blogging through a shared Lenten activity of fasting every Friday. My last post was on Good Friday (a full month ago!) and I had promised my Facebook friends & Twitter followers that I’d put something up here to reflect on the experience. Unfortunately, a wave of work & seminary assignments washed over me and knocked “Update Blog” way down on my to-do list.

I have to admit, when I entered into the weekly Lenten fast and asked other people to join me, I was hoping I’d experience (and hear stories from others about) some kind of great epiphany, some dramatic revelation of truth that I’d been missing or just wasn’t ready for. I’ve been struggling to discern what it is specifically God is calling me to do, where he’s calling me to go, how he’s calling me to serve. That didn’t happen, at least not in the way I was expecting.

But on reflection, I guess, in a way, it did. It didn’t come with flashing lights or claps of thunder, but as an idea that slowly crept in to my consciousness over the course of those seven weeks and by the time Easter rolled around it had firmly rooted itself in my psyche. And the idea was, just to be present. To exist fully in each moment, with each breath, and especially in each conversation that connected me, if only for an instant, with another one of God’s children. To not waste time thinking ahead or planning my next move or response, but to really listen and really hear what people were saying.

In hindsight, that’s no small revelation. In a world defined by busy-ness, packed schedules and a hectic pace, it is utterly counterintuitive to not spend each moment preparing for the next one. I think it is significant that it was through the ancient and meditative practice of fasting that I was able to repent of that habit and allow God to show me what it looks like to slow down and be present. It may not have been the revelation I was looking for, but I know now that it is one that its critical to whatever kind of ministry God has in store for me.

If you participated in our Lenten fast, or any other spiritual practice of reflection and repentance, I’d love to hear your story and share it here on the blog. You can use the comment section here, post a message on my Facebook page, or, if you prefer anonymity, shoot me an email. I think God calls us to these practices so that, through shared experiences, we can better sense his presence and understand the many ways in which he speaks to us. I firmly believe he is moving today to unite his church to fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20, and I believe he is calling people together in various communities–both physical and virtual–to accomplish his Kingdom promises.

So, what’s your story? How did God use this Lenten season to reveal himself to you?


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