What in your life makes you anxious? Is there a little practice you could adopt to center yourself and recognize that you don’t have to carry all of the burdens of your worries alone? Can you put your trust in God to work with whatever you are able to offer?
There is a beautiful prayer on page 836 of the Book of Common Prayer that taught me how to recognize and offer gratitude. It starts by reminding us to whom we should be grateful: God. Next, it offers some big picture items for which to be grateful: creation, life, and love, before moving a little closer to home by offering thanks for family and friends, and even the challenges we face that lead to satisfying accomplishments. Then, perhaps the most surprising part of the prayer invites us to offer thanksgiving for our disappointments and failures.
Lent is a journey we take every year with Christ through the wilderness. Traditionally, Lent has been a time to prepare for Easter by extra prayer, self-examination, self-denial, study, and acts of charity. Many have simplified this by saying that in Lent we give up and we take on. Through giving up, we open space for God within us; through taking on, we invite God in.
Deepen your faith this Lent by adopting a practice for the season.
Someone I know recently told me something that Ram Das said: "If you ever begin to think you are enlightened, go and spend a week with your family."
This suggestion speaks to the dynamic within prayer and contemplation that is challenged by daily life….. the natural conflicts that occur, the intermittent chaos, sprinklings of upheaval, anxiety and fear about security in its many forms,