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Do nothing for Lent

Many years for Lent I take on too many goals and give up too many things. A few days into Lent, I invariably realize I have failed at everything I planned to give up and take on.

This year I’m trying to do less. In fact, I’m trying to do more of nothing. And it might be the hardest thing to take on.

I’m not very good at doing nothing.

I sit down for a minute to relax and pick up my laptop to check one thing—and spend hours on a project.

I pause for a minute to myself and I think of a message I need to send to a colleague or friend.

I head toward the couch and notice the finches could use fresh water in their cage.

One of the children asks me to heat a can of soup and, while I’m waiting in the kitchen, I launch into some other cooking endeavor.

I’ve always liked to be busy. But my pandemic self has somehow ended up in overdrive. There’s always something to take care of, something more to be accomplished. But I’m going to try to set that aside for Lent. I’ll still have lots of things to do. Work doesn’t get done on its own. Dinner doesn’t cook itself. But I also want to carve out some time for nothing. I’m going to try to find a little stillness.

Maybe it will be on a walk.

Maybe it will be while spending time with our finches.

Maybe it will be just sitting on a chair without anything electronic nearby.

God is with each of us every day, of course. I feel His presence, even at the busiest moments. But I think some days that although I know God is with me, I don’t always take the time to give Him my focus and attention. Life is so chaotic and full that I’m missing opportunities to connect with Jesus.

So, this Lent I’m trying to make a little time for less activity and busyness. I’m hoping that if I make time for a little more peace, I’ll make more space for God.

Will I be successful? I don’t know. Here goes nothing.

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