The morning began very slowly, causing me to write and publish this later than I intended. Perhaps that is somewhat appropriate for a “slow-down fast”?Sunlight streamed through the windows as I sat at the kitchen table this morning. This is noteworthy, after countless days of sorrowful gray skies. As the heat hit my cheeks, I felt myself warming and thought of Psalm 36:9, “in your light, we see light.”I thought about Lent, about giving things up. This week I experienced my first Ash Wednesday service, receiving the ashen cross on my forehead. This act of humility, realizing I am but dust and desperately in need of a Savior, launched the season of Lent.Now I willingly slow down, hoping to give more of myself to the Lord, to hear from Him, to learn and grow in relationship with Him. After reading through the accounts of Jesus fasting in the wilderness for 40 days, facing Satan’s temptations, I wonder what these next few weeks will hold?I sit listening to music, open to what the Lord may point out to me, and I wonder if I should have kept quiet about my plans for fasting? It’s too late to change anything; it’s too late to remember that Jesus instructed us to fast in a way that it is not obvious to men, but only to our Father, who is unseen (Matthew 6:16-18). It’s too late, because I’ve already publicized my ideas.I think, though, as with so many things, Jesus was questioning what is at the heart of the fast; or, what is the heart of the one fasting? Oh, how I feel that the heart of my fast is to slow down and walk with Jesus in a focused manner instead of rushing around hurried and scattered, distracted from Him. That’s all. I just want to offer Jesus my undivided attention. I’m also willing to do what He calls me to do, and I don’t want to miss that in an overscheduled, overcommitted life. I want to live singularly focused, and for me, that requires simplifying some areas of life.This weekend is not full. I am glad. Today I will sort through some books stacked up in my room, boxing some up until we can add shelves in the basement. Today I will propose to the kids that we go for a walk or jog. Today I will repeat John 15, the chapter I have yet to memorize perfectly. Today I will enjoy the slower pace and listen closely, in case I might hear something I’ve missed in the last few weeks.I hope that we can all talk about our experiences, our hesitations, heart-struggles, concerns, revelations, temptations, and hunger. And I hope that we can share from the abundance He provides.Please link up your Lenten reflections below:Thank you for joining me.
Cheryl Smith says
It’s funny, I was just thinking today about what Jesus said about fasting, wondering if I’ve made too much of the topic. But then I read your words, and Deidra’s and Sandra’s and Cassandra’s posts, and I think maybe sometimes we need to work things out in community. Not the fasting, per se, nor the heart of the matter, but something still undefined…
By the way, I submitted my post for Food on Fridays, but I think it fits better with your Slow Down Fast, so I’m doing it here too. I promise not to double dip in the future. 🙂
You can double dip any time, Cheryl!
And I think my post, wandering as it was, reflects that “still undefined…” thing you mentioned. Guess that’s why I just rambled a bit.
Charity Singleton says
Ann – I think it’s just right that today began slowly. I think that’s what Lent has felt like to me in general. Putting on the breaks. I am already learning a lot by giving up bedtime, not the least of which is that I am utterly helpless to even do something as simple as go to bed on time in my own strength.
Glad to be fasting with you.
A slow start….that’s what I’ve needed. No big revelations today, but I did take care of the books. 🙂
I realised I attached my post to the wrong week, so I have attached it again to the right one 🙂 oops 🙂
Sheila Lagrand says
Oh, I am off to a poor, poor start on this slowing-down process. Yesterday I spent 9 hours working on an editing project, doing laundry, and caring for my not-feeling-so-hot husband.
Today I made my full-on sick husband pancakes, wrote a blog post, went to church, spent a few hours on an administrative task for a volunteer organization I’m active with, made tea for my husband, did a major, the-cupboards-are-bare grocery shopping run, got roast chicken and stuffing into the oven with a hand from my bonus son, prepared a speech for the same volunteer organization, and enjoyed dinner.
I’m “behind” because last weekend, when I intended to crank out the editing and stock the pantry, we traveled to be with my in-laws, as my beloved MIL had been hospitalized Thursday night with a suspected stroke.
Praise our Father, she had a small, tiny, bleed and is expected to recover fully.
I had not built any margins into my schedule to accommodate a family emergency. Silly, silly me.
Next weekend our 6 and 4 year old grandsons are coming to spend the weekend. They’re really, really good at getting Lala to slow down.
I’m going to take notes.