Here are six ideas for Lent for anyone who feels too busy, or rushed, or hassled or stressed out by the pressure of things to do.
Don’t think ‘rush’, think ‘slow’.
Chill, take your time. Things have a habit of working themselves out unless your are in the middle of a full-blown crisis. If you are then you had better do what it takes to get the crisis sorted out and your life calmed down. Life is not a crisis, it’s an opportunity.
Don’t think ‘busy’, think ‘involved’.
‘Busy’ is one of the more pernicious four-letter words in our vocabulary. Often, it’s a boast disguised as a complaint. There are plenty of people who would love to have more to do, to feel more valued, and to be more fully involved. If you are too busy it may mean that you haven’t bothered to involve others.
Don’t think ‘me time’, think ‘soul time’.
It’s easy to persuade people to try to have more ‘me-anything’ these days. However, the point about Lent is not to think about your ego-needs but to make time for your soul-needs. Soul time can take many forms – but it’s never ‘all about me’.
Don’t think ‘give up’, think ‘appreciate’.
If we take time to savour and enjoy those petty vices that so often occupy our consciences and dominate our spirituality their power over us may begin to wane a bit and we might turn our attention to higher things. If you love chocolate don’t give it up this year but become a discerning and appreciative chocolate connoisseur – and see what comes of that.
Don’t think ‘work-life balance’, think ‘wholesome living’.
Of course your life can start to go wrong if your work is too important to you, or too all-consuming, or if it’s relentlessly stressful. But this can be true of any activity – not just work. Life isn’t something that starts when work stops.
Don’t think ‘Lent is long’, think ‘Lent is short’.
Because it is. Just as life is short. Just as every day is short. Don’t miss out on life or Lent by rushing around as a lonely busybody, feeling guilty about petty things and starving your soul of the time it needs to breath.
Have a time wise Lent.
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