When I first started writing on the computer it was uncomfortable, and I often chose to grab a legal pad and a pen. The computer felt detached—it didn’t allow for all the arrows and margin comments I sprinkled my tablet with.
Then slowly I stayed with the computer a little longer each time. I began to see that the ability to move words, sentences and paragraphs around made my writing better. It increased my willingness to edit – not having to retype an entire work (or the laborious cut and paste) meant I could acknowledge when what I wrote wasn’t coherent, or was repetitive, or was going off on a tangent. When I found these areas, cutting out one little part was nowhere near as frustrating as it used to be filling a wastebasket with crumpled up papers. I could even remove my very favorite line to the bottom of the page—where it sat safely until I was ready to admit I didn’t need it.
So as Lent begins and I ponder the Health Ministry forty-day health-promoting challenge, I remind myself of the unknown benefits that come from embracing a new practice. Initially all I focus on is the loss—no scribbling, no nighttime snacks, etc. I approach this with the same trepidation that I approached the computer with. But acknowledging how the computer has improved my writing, I look forward to feeling a little better. And, I look forward to the connection I can draw between that practice and Jesus’ deprivation.
Health Ministry has promised to be with us in these journeys as has Jesus. My prayer for the whole congregation is that we embrace a Lenten practice—either from the Health Ministries’ list or our own—that widens our hearts and deepens our love. Welcome to Lent.
Peace and prayers,