Monday, April 4, 2011

Check out this blog about Lent by Mark Batterson


Let me explain what it means.
The key to spiritual growth is developing healthy and holy routines. They are called spiritual disciplines. But once the routine becomes routine, you need to disrupt the routine via a change of pace or change of place. Why? Because sacred routines can become empty rituals if you forget why you started doing them in the first place.
I’m certainly not suggesting that routines are bad. Most of us practice a morning ritual that includes showering, brushing our teeth and putting on deodorant. On behalf of your family and friends, continue practicing those routines.
But here’s the spiritual catch-22: good routines can become bad routines if we don’t change the routine. When you start going through the motions spiritually, it’s time to mix up the routine. And Lent is a great opportunity for a natural change of pace.
Lent disrupts the status quo. It can get us out of an old routine and into a new routine.
In physical exercise, routines eventually become counterproductive. If you exercise your muscles the same way every time you work out, your muscles start adapting and stop growing. You need to disorient your muscles by changing your routine. And the same is true spiritually.
When I’m in a spiritual slump, I often snap out of it by a change of pace or a change of place. And it was Jesus who modeled this practice. He would often walk the beach or climb a mountain. I think those changes in geography are not disconnected from the practice of spirituality. It is a simple change of place that precipitates many of the epiphanies that happen in Scripture.
To snap out of a slump, sometimes all it takes is a small change in routine. Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or nursing home. Start keeping a gratitude journal. Get plugged into a small group or Bible study. Take a day off and do a personal retreat. Or just get up a little earlier in the morning and spend a little extra time with God.
One of the small changes in routine that has helped me rejuvenate me is picking up a new translation of Scripture. New words help me think new thoughts. And while you can institute those changes at any time, Lent is a perfect excuse to mix up your spiritual routine.

Why not leverage Lent by mixing up your routine? If you do, you’ll celebrate Easter like you never have before.


  1. You are right about changing your routine. It will keep us more alive and excitement. Josh and I tried to change our routine each time he gets home from work, instead of watching TV. We try to talk to each other more often and read books instead. It's actually nice to do that.

    Are you still getting up early in the morning?

  2. Amanda, You are right about needing change during lent. For me, this is what I try to focus on but it is extremely challenging:

    "Be still and know that I am God.
    Be still and know that I am
    Be still and know.
    Be still.
    Be." (Rohr, p62).

    I think in the hustle and bustle of work and home, one the challenges is to breathe and sense/know Him in the moment. Lent allows that reflection.

    I love to read and watch foreign movies. I just watched a movie "The Stoning Soraya M." It is an awful movie but it make know how blessed women are in this country.


  3. Erin - I am still struggling getting up in the morning. I will explain more over coffee tonight lol

    LG - That is another way of appreciating life, reading and watching movies about how people suffered and how we shouldn't take our life for granted. some problems are worse than ours, I'm sure that there are people out there who would want our problems over theirs!! lol