Courtney Weller on Lent

A nice reflection from a former student:

This year for Lent I’ve decided to not give up chocolate (since I don’t eat it as much as I use to, and frankly I’m not that strong this year 😉 ) and decided to give up some self-destructive habits, and pick up some others.

My main discipline this Lenten season is going to be trying *really* *really* hard to follow the 10 Commandments. I started reading this book about someone who followed the Bible literally for a year, and one of the hardest things for him was following the 10 Commandments. It takes discipline of mind as well as action, and frankly it’s quite difficult. Part of this journey will be to further study the Ten Commandments and look into the theological explanations, unpacking what we really have to gain by following these requests. So far (yes, the day after Lent began) this has been a major failing point. Ponder for yourself how often you really honor your mother and your father, how often you use the Lord’s name in vain, without the meaning it deserves, how often we lie, or don’t tell the whole truth, how often we COVET. So much. So very much. We’re a society built on coveting, yes?

Along with the Ten Commandments, I’ve decided to re-start my desire to use better language (I state it this way to not sound as guilty). But this doesn’t just eliminate swearing, but to improve my vocabulary. To craft my language to honor the God of creativity, the God who gives us language. Perhaps I’ll try to pick up another language during this time, but that would be a side project.

My final Lenten discipline this year will be to only drink water. Partially this is for health reasons, as I don’t need to drink sweet tea or soda or delicious fruity beverages. But my hope is that, along with the health benefits, I will be reminded every time I realize I can’t have that coffee (boy, was that a rude awakening this morning) or the occasional treat of delicious, beautiful, wonderful sweet tea, that I drink water, the means of which I have received Christ. So, it’s really a memory device. Only drink water, and remember my baptism. Remember what Lent is all about.

Do you do anything for Lent? Why or why not, and if so, what are your disciplines this Lenten season?