Today is Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent. I've selected Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit by Paula Huston for this year's Lenten guide. I've had the book for a month and today I finally got to dig in. It is so right where I am and I will no doubt both enjoy and chafe along this Lenten journey.
"The beauty of the Lenten season is that it encourages the development of a humble heart. In Lent, we are invited to look deeply inside, identify what is impeding our ability to follow Christ along the path of humility, and begin applying antidotes." (from the Introduction)
So day one...
Ash Wednesday: Clear Out a Junk Drawer or Closet
"Everything we carried on into the future had to be essential....The great third-and fourth-century flight nade by thousands of Christians into the Egyptian and Syrian deserts stemmed in part from a similar impulse: to strip, to cull, and to give away or eliminate anything that might tie one to the past. The Desert Fathers and Mothers were on a quest for purity of heart, and they understood that physical items are never just themselves but rather symbols and reminders of the life we must, however reluctantly, be willing to relinquish if we are ever to change." p.3
"When we clean out a junk drawer for Lent, we are in some small way dealing with the detritus of breathless hurry and our corresponding inability to focus. We are beginning to tear through the sticky web that binds us to our past: not only to the fine and happy times, the poignant seasons of growth adn change, but also to the tears we once shed, the idols we once worshipped, the myths we once believed, and the lies we once told ourselves." p.4
Here's to cleaning our a junk drawer today!