Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lenten Questions

Tis the time of the year when some give up things, others take up things and some do nothing at all. I've always had an ambivalent relationship with Lent - sometimes giving up things but not necessarily thinking deeply or entering into any new discipline beyond not eating chocolate or whatever. This year I’m trying both. I have said goodbye to all things sweet, all things alcoholic and have banned myself from Facebook. But that’s all well and good – I may lose a few pounds and have some more time but will I learn anything?

So my plan is to use the time for more reading, thinking and the occasional bit of writing on the blog. But Lent itself – almost a tithe of the year that we give to something holy. Jesus went into the desert for 40 days to ask the question of what it meant to be Jesus. Perhaps we could spend the time during Lent asking ourselves some questions. In Beyond Words Frederick Buechner gives us some ideas.

“If you had to bet everything you have on whether there is a God or whether there isn’t, which side would get your money and why?
When you look at your face in the mirror, what do you see in it that you most like and what do you see in it that you most deplore?
If you had only one last message to leave to the handful of people who are most important to you, what would that be in 25 words or less?
Of all the things that you have done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo? Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember?
Is there any person in the world or any cause that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for?
If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it?

To hear yourself try to answer questions like that is to begin to hear something not only of who you are, but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become. It can be a pretty depressing business all in all, but if sackcloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end. “

I’m wrestling with these questions over the next 6 weeks. I can’t promise to post the answers to all of them but I will post some. Maybe you can join me on the journey.


Smitheys said...

Mark: Nice to see some words up here again and thanks for inspiring some thinking. Are you guys doing ok?

Love to Sara!


jools said...

here here ... good to see you back & writing clearski.

Wils said...

food for thought... look forward to the digestive commentary. (Nothing to do with biscuits of course.)