Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lenten Practices work better than New Years resolutions

I think that I have an idea about why New Years resolutions don’t work for me. There hasn’t been time before New Years to plan, evaluate, and anticipate the resolutions.

The penitential season of Lent begins in about one month. For several days now I have been contemplating what Lenten practices would improve my life, my spiritual life, my faith life, my physical life. What book will I read for Lent? What activities will I pick up for Lent that will improve my relationship with Life and those who are traveling with me in this life?

Yesterday I was thinking about how the house never really gets the deep cleaning that it needs. It used to “spring cleaning” but that doesn’t happen in my spring times. What if I were to add just a little bit to my usual housecleaning routine during Lent? Could I deep clean the living room one week, the bathroom the next week, the kitchen the next week, and onward for just the weeks of Lent? (Oh! The basement? The garage?)

I do not know yet whether the deep cleaning of the house will be added to my Lenten practice. I don’t have to decide yet. A month before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, I have the gift of time to contemplate what activities and actions would be best for me and my whole being, my faith, my spiritual self, and my relations with others and the environment this Lenten season. New Years resolutions come directly at the end of Advent and most of the Christmas Season when there is not time in my life to mull and contemplate resolutions that may improve my personal life. Lent works better for me than New Years for trying again to improve the actions in my life.

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