It’s hard to believe, but Lent is over, and we’re already almost a week into Eastertide.
The 4o Days of Lent are usually the longest six-week stretch of the year for me – and not only because it actually takes 46 days to get through the 40 Days of Lent (Sundays are feast days, so we don’t count the Sundays as part of our Lenten fast period).
I usually find myself saying, ‘Are we there yet?’ throughout Lent. But this year, when we landed Easter Sunday, I heard myself mumbling, ‘We’re there already?’ – largely thanks to you, readers!
The 40 Simple Truths About God Disciplehood series was by far the best Lenten Discipline I’ve ever taken on. It was an absolute honor and pleasure to assemble, but it was also difficult, sometimes, to stay motivated to keep it going, for at least two reasons:
- The period leading up to Easter is pretty busy for a church’s music co-director, who’s also been happily shanghai’d to lead the music team at a Christian retreat weekend at the end of April, whose wife and kids are also active in study and hobby and ministry. There were a few days that the clock struck 10 p.m. and I hadn’t posted yet (and I get up for work at 6 a.m.). I was tempted to flip a coin about whether to bother or not.
- It was tougher than I expected for my theologically challenged intellect to come up with 40 different posts. The Day 25 topic, for instance, might have seemed like a great idea on Day 1, but when Day 25 came around, I realized I’d mostly covered the subject on Day 13 (hypothetical example only).
If not for the ‘likes’ and comments the posts received via email, in Facebook and WordPress and (even in-person!), I might have given up, or skipped a day and hoped nobody noticed. But in light of the feedback I was receiving, there was a reasonable chance that I wasn’t the only one God was connecting with through this series. I figured I’d better dig a little deeper and come up with something.
With God’s help, I always did, and often surprised myself in the process. The Holy Spirit is a pretty good teacher and collaborator, it seems. (Understate much, Baldy?)
And in spite of (or do I mean because of) how challenging the series was sometimes, Lent passed quickly for me this year.
I want to especially thank my friend and fellow WordPress blogger, Jim Newman. As I said at the outset, his Epiphany Project gave me the idea for this Lenten Project. (Feel free to pick up the ball and launch your own Eastertide Project if you’re so inclined, readers. We’re only a couple days in, and Pentecost is still more than six weeks away.) I never would have thought of this if Jim hadn’t had his Epiphany (thanks to Bishop Greg Kerr-Wilson) back in January, and Jim’s constant verbal affirmation throughout the series was also extremely empowering.
40 Simple Truths blogs probably contain more repetition, more typos, more awkward writing, fewer bells and whistles and more repetition than the rest of the Disciplehood Library does, but as I look back on it, I’m proud of what God did through me in Lent 2013.
But now what?
Now that I’ve written maybe 20,000 words about God in the past six weeks (in addition to the perhaps 150,000 penned over the previous two Disciplehood years), what more do I have to contribute? Have I depleted my reserves?
Or have the writing rhythms and routines I’ve established over the past six weeks forged new synaptic territory that will make the next 170,000 words come all the more easily, and be that much more effective at helping to advance the Kingdom?
Peace be with you.