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Do you ever feel like Lent just sneaks up? Do you find yourself over-committing to a huge list of everything you want to change and take on over the next 40 days but before you know it, Easter rolls around and your Lenten journey has had no real discipline or focus?
As purpose-driven leaders with busy schedules and full plates, we can often leave little room to slow down and prepare for an intentional Lenten season. We may have the best of intentions at the beginning of our Lenten journey. Everything seems to be going smoothly but then just as you’re feeling on top of the world with your prayer life and fasting, you take a bad turn and you’re quickly confronted with your own human weakness.
It happens to the best of us.
What if we looked at the next 40 days week by week instead? We can practice preparing ourselves at the beginning of each week to cleanse our mind, body, and soul for the week ahead.
Consider each inner and external action you choose over the next 40 days a form of spiritual cleansing for growth and unity with your vocation.
With this strategy in mind, try incorporating the following 3 concepts into your Lenten regimen to help you slow down with Christ so that you're not feeling defeated once Easter Sunday rolls around.
God speaks to us in silence. As hard as it may be as busy professionals, entrepreneurs, and CEOs, try to find some time to sit in prayerful silence regularly this Lenten season. Ask God how He wants you to pursue his heart and cultivate your Garden of Eden during Lent.
Block some daily time in your calendar to make space for silence and stillness with the Lord. Oftentimes when we pray, we’re asking, talking, and expressing ourselves before the Lord, but it’s also important to practice turning off all our thoughts in meditation and prayer so that we can truly hear what the Lord is whispering to us.
As Jesus sought silence and solitude for greater intimacy with God, we too can lead by his example and grow in virtue in our own stillness with the Lord.
Be Fearlessly Open
It’s easy to find ourselves rushing through the motions of life and work. How can you practice making space to be more open to God’s graces? Our schedules may be so tight and filled with to-dos that we may unintentionally overlook areas where we’re being called to help advance the Kingdom of God. Maybe your local parish needs help once a week to feed the homeless in your area, or perhaps you’re being called to volunteer at your Church school or to start a new ministry to assist mothers in crisis pregnancies. Whatever God might be calling you to step into, find space to fearlessly say yes and answer the call. Instead of focusing on what you want to give up or what you want to improve over lent, focus on what is God calling you to.
If You Fall, Get Back Up
Lent isn’t about striving to be perfect. It’s about recognizing where we fall short and then getting back up. Failure is just an opportunity to learn, grow in our humility, and acknowledge our spiritual poverty. Look to the Saints, our sacred windows to what lies ahead. Ask them for their guidance and intercession in your struggles to root out sin. Even the most righteous fell, what sets them apart is they picked themselves up and kept striving for holiness with relentless effort.
In short, be still, make space, and keep going. Meditate on these and God will reveal to you how He wants you to bear your sacrificial fruit in the world, this Lent.
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