Lent. A time to pause, reflect, and refocus. It is not officially observed in my Christian tradition, but I find it to be a helpful time for the intentional decluttering of stuff, busyness, and distraction.
Lent does not make me right with God. No human tradition can make me right with God. Only Christ’s perfect sacrifice for my sin can do that. My faith and hope are in Him, not in my own feeble attempts at religious observance.
But the spiritual decluttering of Lent quiets my spirit, making room for the Holy Spirit to give me the soul-deep peace of true shalom.
This year, my decluttering of stuff begins today with an idea I saw on a friend’s page: on each day of Lent, place one item I do not need in a box. By Easter Sunday, I will have 40 items to either donate or throw out.
My decluttering of busyness is tougher since two of our children are still at home and are involved in many activities. Much of my busyness is actually theirs. I plan to use Lent as a time to reassess my busyness. I find I am generally too tired for hospitality. As a Christian, I am called to hospitality. This is definitely an area I need to improve.
My decluttering of distraction is not hard at all. It is painfully obvious. I am taking a lenten break from social media. Perhaps the energy that social media saps will be restored for actual human connection, the kind that naturally occurs through hospitality (see previous paragraph).
Spiritual decluttering is possible at any time of year, but Lent creates a helpful framework. I work best within timeframes and deadlines. It helps me set realistic goals. Forty days of spiritual decluttering seems like a realistic goal.
I hope you will also take time for your own spiritual decluttering as you contemplate Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. If you do not yet know Him, begin by confessing your sin. Place your whole self, body and soul, into the loving hands of Jesus. He is a gentle Shepherd. He has freely paid for all your sins with His precious blood.
Do you know Him?
“For He says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2
See you in 40, friends. May you know God’s favor in this season of resurrection anticipation. Sunday’s coming!
Grace and peace.