Some thought for Lent from Rev John Rackley – a bit late, but perhaps it still seems like Lent in these strange times!
Lent is a time when Christians consider the direction of their life and walk with Jesus to the events of his last week on earth.
The time that Jesus spent in the wilderness was a time of fasting and prayer. Many Christians try to respect what he did through ‘stopping something for Lent’. Ceasing from eating chocolate is often the choice. These days ‘taking up something new for Lent’ instead is increasingly popular.
I think there might be a third way. The way of restraint.
We live in an acquisitive culture.’ More for me’ is what many people think life is about. More stuff. More experiences. More entertainment. More ideas. More innovation.
Lent challenges this life-style. It is counter-culture. May be restraint, in other words asking ourselves ‘is this really necessary’ might make us pause and think.
Self-restraint is a discipline practiced by sports people. It is necessary for their fitness and development. Perhaps they have something to show the rest of us. I admire footballers who are still playing at the top levels of the game yet they are way past their twenties. They are only at that level still because of the pattern of diet and training they are undertaking. At the heart of that pattern will be restraint.
Could Lent be a time when we take a more measured approach to our use of time and wealth? Might it be the opportunity to consider how much a bit of restraint may make to our well-being?