God is with you everywhere and in every moment. But when we have our heads down either working hard or absorbed in our screens, it can become difficult to hear God’s voice. It can seem like God isn’t there, that he has abandoned us. In reality, He is always right where we are at, if only we would take the time to notice. Paying attention to God in the midst of our daily existence makes all the difference.
Lent is a season where we begin to thin out our lives to seek God afresh. With all the demands on our time and busy schedules, our days are often over before we know it. The majority of the day is ruled by errands, email, and entertainment. God is often pushed to the margins of the day; a few quiet moments in the early morning or the late evening feel like all we can muster. Lent is a call for us to slow down, to refocus ourselves to Jesus’ way.
Often this refocusing of attention begins with subtraction: the creation of a particular fast. Whether you are giving up chocolate, meat, or TV isn’t what is important, however. The most important thing about the fast is the space in your schedule and the silence before God that is carved out. We need to be intentional about how we fill that void created by giving something up.
According to theologian Alexander Schmemann, “If the Christian of the past lived in great measure in a silent world, giving him ample opportunity for concentration and inner life, today’s Christian has to make a special effort to recover that essential dimension of silence which alone can put us in contact with higher realities.” Lenten fasting can create that silence in our often noisy worlds to hear God. We can slow down enough to notice what God might have to teach us throughout our day.
It is our hope that during Lent you wouldn’t just get rid of something. As we fast, let us continue to turn to God in prayer, seeking him in the silences of our fast. If you don’t have a copy of our ‘Lent + Daily’ devotional guide, make sure to subscribe to the daily email on our website. It’s a great way to slow down to pray, read Scripture, and notice what God is doing in our midst. May you keep a slow and holy Lent to the glory of God.
The Rev. Taylor Ishii
Director of Student Ministry
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