Randy's Ramblings, March

I don’t know about you, but for me Lent is a time to focus on spiritual disciplines.  Sometimes it is a new discipline practiced in a new way; sometimes it is a discipline I have not been practicing for some time; sometimes it is a short-term commitment to a particular discipline.  Always it is a season in which I make myself available to grace. 

I often practice a form of fasting in that I remove something from my life for the 40 days of Lent.  Sometimes I refrain from drinking caffeine, for example.  Frequently I take on a new discipline that I have not been doing.  One year, for example, I intentionally wrote 40 different thank you notes to 40 different people during Lent. 

As Ash Wednesday gets closer, I find myself reflecting on how best to make myself more available to grace this year, how best to allow God to speak to me in a new and different way.  I haven’t decided yet what my Lenten disciplines will be.  While considering what to do, I came across this reminder from William Arthur Ward: 

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ indwelling them.

Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.

Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.

Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.

Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.

Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.

Fast from anger; feast on patience.

Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.

Fast from worry; feast on divine order.

Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.

Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.

Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.

Fast from hostility; feast on non-resistance.

Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.

Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.

Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal Truth.

Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.

Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.

Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.

Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.

Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.

Fast from shadows of sorrow; feast on the sunlight of serenity.

Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.