Monday, March 2, 2009

Focus on Lent

If you're a practicing Catholic, you know that Lent started last week and that this is a time to refocus on Christ's sacrifice and God's place in our lives. Catholics "give something up" with the premise that Christ did the same so long ago (when he spent 40 days in the desert) and that self-denial helps us connect with the suffering of Jesus when he died on the cross.

My church also teaches that some things distract us from our relationship with God; that there are some things we turn to for sustenance when in fact, God would prefer that we turn to him. Okay, okay, I get that, and yes, if I am truthful, I will admit that blogging is a big part of my sustenance. I hate that, because it makes me feel guilty, and I have this sneaking feeling that I should give up blogging for Lent. In order to stay in denial, however, I have firmly committed to doing something else that will bring me closer to God.

Instead of giving up blogging, chocolate, or something else that I love, I've decided to devote 30 minutes every day to focused prayer. I've also decided that at least 10 of those 30 minutes will include exercise, since I figure God is probably disappointed that I've taken this "temple" He gave me and turned it into a trash heap. (I don't think he will mind if I am also exercising while we are talking. After all, since many people are religious about going to the gym, He'll probably just be happy he has my attention.)

Okay, now for the part where I get a little more serious (don't worry; it's nothing over the top). I've come up with what I think is a great idea for helping all Christians stay focused on the "reason for the season" this Easter. And when I say "focused," that's a clue, because I'm inviting everyone to participate with me in a little photography experience. Since the season is about sacrifice, rebirth, and repentance, I invite you to look around your world in the next few weeks and find something to photograph that, for you, symbolizes these concepts. I've invited my kids and Mr.4444 to do the same, and I think they just might cooperate.

Put your photo(s) in a single post scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th. On that day, I will host a "show," if you will, of everyone's photos, setting up Mr.Linky to lead everyone through your corner of the "gallery." I've put a button in my sidebar for you to help spread the word. It will link to today's post (after I figure out how to make the code for it.) My hope is that our photos will help inspire conversation, thought, and just serve as little "shots" of reflection this season. Just think; you might even find a wonderful screen saver that inspires you. In the spirit of discovery (your own), I ask that your photos be original (taken by you or someone in your family) or that you at least credit the photographer when you post it. Also, will you please help spread the word to those who might be interested?

Have I missed anything?

What do you say?! Will you join me?

[Note: You need not be a Christian to participate. If you like taking photos, I invite you to join us in the spirit of spring! Instead of sacrifice or repentance, you could focus on spring or rebirth in general. All are welcome!]

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