Thursday, February 19, 2004


A lot of Baptists don't even know what Lent is, but it's a season that I especially enjoy...and dread.

I usually fast in some fashion during the Lenten season. This year I've given it more thought than in years past, or at least I've been thinking about it a little earlier than usual.

I don't like to think in terms of giving up something for Lent, rather I like to believe I'm substituting things more spiritual for things that are perhaps less so.

This year it seemed easier to decide what rules I will be observing for 40 days.

Amy and I have joked on several occasions recently about feeling like we're in a Frank Peretti novel. I know it sounds a little crazy, but it seems to me like the world is more out of balance these days. I know a lot of our friends and family are struggling. It also appears there is a little more ugliness out there. Cynicism has become so common - "Hello pot...kettle calling, you're black".

I feel like our lives are a bit out of balance too. I want to spend some time reflecting on that.

This past year it's also become very easy to become fixated on ourselves. Amy's health concerns, our various other fears and ruminations make that somewhat reasonable I suppose. I don't want to turn away from us as much as I want to look out a bit more. In return, I hope those inward glances will become more focused.

I want to hunger.

Jesus fasted for 40 days. No food. Not squat.

Thank God, I'm not Jesus.

However, I do want to experience hunger, think about hunger, remember how blessed I am not to truly know hunger.

My junior high school friend, Harlan, whom I reunited with over the Internet this past year, sends me emails occasionally which carry a small tag about ways you can help alleviate hunger in the world. Members of my congregation devoted themselves to prayer on this issue recently as well.

Over these next 40 days, I want to spend more time contemplating hunger. Hunger in my belly...and in my soul.

The blessing and the curse of a blog is I'm committing myself to this in writing.

I will be accountable to myself...and to folks from New Zealand to Ohio, Oklahoma, France, and the Phillipines who for some reason read my ramblings.

My Lenten plan is simple really. I will restrict my diet severely. I will follow my own modified version of the Daniel diet..very organic..very vegan. The modifications are that I will allow myself small portions of fish, and tea. I will drink water for the most part. No soft drinks. No wine.

I will walk every day for 40 minutes...rain or shine....for 40 days.

During this time I also plan to read and reflect on the book of Acts.

The easy commitment is also to write every day during this time. Hopefully, I will be able to provide food for thought rather than only thoughts about food.