Monday, February 18, 2008

Day 6

I have just completed my first weekend of Lent 2008 and I was entirely unsuccesful in maintaining my Sabbath day.

I spent Friday afternoon/early evening working on the cessioncommunity Lent devotional journal and preparing for our leaders gathering on Saturday. The leaders gathering was great, and I did know it was coming up. I had intended to try and take some extra time out on Sunday morning and Monday morning. However, I didn't quite manage to do this.

I was reflecting on an exercise that we did together on Saturday and I've decided I might need to downsize my goal a bit -not because it's a bad one - it is still where I want to get to. But I seem to have developed some bad habits about carving out down time for myself, so I need to start unlearning these in order to be able to maintain my bigger goal.

So I am going to start making some 'dates' for myself which I will book into my diary like appointments. Jonathan has been telling me for some time that I should put imaginary appointments with people in my diary. I guess this isn't too dissimilar - just that I'm not actually imaginary.

Henri Nouwen suggests that we should diarise appointments with God for prayer and spiritual reflection so that we don't allow our relationship with God to become sidelined by other commitments. This is certainly part of the goal for me too. By being so busy I get little time to reflect on how the different threads of my life are working together, and where God is at work in me. I also find it means that I stop enjoying both my work and the simple pleasures of life and the world around me, as I am so caught up in the busyness of getting things done.

So, I will still keep working on the goal of keeping a sabbath day, but I am also going to schedule some appointments with God, or simply for time out also.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lent 2008

'first clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean'

One of the things we encourage our community to do at cession, is to consider making a 40 day goal over the Lent period that will aid you in working toward a bigger spiritual growth goal that you have set your self for the year.

This year, my Lent goal is to abstain from overwork.

In order to try and achieve this I have set myself a goal of taking Friday afternoon (from around 4pm) till Saturday Evening bedtime as a 'Sabbath' day. I used to be really great at doing this but in past year or so, my time off has become less and less frequent and often Saturday - my one day off - ends up becoming another work day.

I'm not sure how successful I will be. I am already painfully aware of how busy my schedule looks between now and Easter Sunday, and I am appalling at ensuring I make time for myself (and for Jacob!). But, I am going to try!

(For info on making goals for Lent go to the cessioncommunity website and you will find a Lent preparation pack)