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Associate Minister's Column

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    A spiritual practice doesn’t have to be hard, but, then again, maybe it shouldn’t be easy. I think of spiritual practices much like exercising. It’s not that riding a bike or lifting weights is particularly hard or easy for me. Its impact comes from the commitment to do it. I think of spiritual practice as experimenting with the way I want to be in the world. It’s something to try and see what impact it has.

     Lent is a time for me to experiment with new, short-term ways of engaging with the world. Last year I gave up plastic for Lent. It was incredibly hard. In fact, it was much more difficult than I imagined. The hardest part, which took me by surprise, was not being able to buy most foods. Most have some amount of plastic in the packaging. Inadvertently I fasted from most processed foods. It was very hard, but its impact was profound.

     This year I’m engaging in a Lenten practice that is somewhat complicated. Unfortunately, I can’t explain the practice until it is over (plug for Easter Sunday when I can talk about it!).

     Traditionally Lent is a time to give something up – maybe sugar, caffeine, or alcohol – in recognition of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert in preparation for his ministry. I prefer to think of Lent as a time to change how we engage with the world. So what are you planning this Lent? I’d love to hear it.