Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ash Wednesday

Today is the beginning of Lent. For me this means no morning coffee.

I didn't choose to give up coffee because it will be some great sacrifice, but because it is part of my routine. Last year I chose to give up something I like, but not something I do regularly - which was missing the point. I wasn't connecting Lent with prayer, but seeing it more as some sort of duty.

I believe there is a profound difference between obedience and discipline, though both are important. Obedience does what is right, and discipline does what leads to spiritual formation. Last year I think my observance of Lent was more an obedience than a discipline.

By giving up coffee I am carving out a regular time that I will fill with prayer. The beverage is irrelevant, the discipline is the focus. That time each morning will be devoted to prayer and repentance.

2 comments:

Ken Haynes said...

Good thoughts on discipline.....As Will and I were doing our prayers last night, He asked me what he should give up for Lent! Caught me off guard becuase I had not shared anything with him about that season/practice...but what a totally cool conversation !! He looked around the room trying to find something he did not like so he could give it up (smile). We talked about the possibilities food choices/routines/....his favorite show on Animal Planet Channel....not sure what he will decide to do, but I am just pleased he even toying with engaging this whole thing.

Mark said...

This will be the first time I have participated in the season of Lent. Not sure I'm looking forward to it as I am not very disciplined and it will be a real challenge to follow through. I seem to be able to be obedient a whole lot "easier" than I can be disciplined!