I’m not an audio voyeur. Honest. But, the conversations around me today while getting some work done at McDonald’s made my heart heavy. Insecurity, loss, disillusionment, fear and loneliness ruled the day. Following is my response to what unfolded and in regards to what this day represents…
On this Ash Wednesday (the beginning of the six week Lenten season leading up to Easter…for more, read “Why I’ll Have Ashes on My Head Today” by Steve Wiens), I’m making a commitment to do more than “give something up” during this 40+ day spiritual pilgrimage.
I sense a prompting to take it a step further. Not solely releasing something that takes up precious time in my life, but replacing it with an activity that brings life. And, not just to me.
I rarely put pen to paper (I nearly cramp up from scribbling my signature!). But, I know the power of the written word, having saved scores of notes over the years from family, friends and strangers who sensed I needed encouragement or affirmation. (On really hard days, I pull those notes out and reflect…and cry)
Starting today, I’m releasing my love of watching reality television (seriously) and the evening news and replacing that time with writing 40 letters of encouragement to the downtrodden, lonely, and overwhelmed people in my life.
I encourage you to join me on this life changing journey. Hey, if I can give up “The Voice”… (139 words sans parentheses)
Where to start, right? What are you sensing? I’d spend some time praying about it, but here are some possible ideas:
- Release eating treats, replace with baking goodies and delivering them to you neighbors
- Release worry, replace it with prayer and gratitude
- Release saving money for a vacation, replace with saving money for a family in need
- Release saying “yes” to everyone and everything, replace with saying “no”
- Release the need to be in control, and replace with trusting in God’s plans
- Release technology usage during the evening, replace with solitude
Sacrificing time, treasure and talent for the sake of others. Sounds like a pretty good plan to kick off this Easter season!