Lent began two weeks ago today. Two weeks ago on Ash Wednesday many of us donned an ash cross to remind us of our mortality and our complete dependence upon grace. Many of us also chose to give something up or add something to our lives for Lent.
I wasn’t planning on giving up anything for Lent until I clearly felt the Spirit’s nudging. He nudged me to give up a half hour of my time each day and spend it on the treadmill. I shared that this was more than a spiritualized diet and exercise plan; it was a way for me to have every part of my person fall more in line with Jesus.
So for the past two weeks I’m happy to say that I have given up that half hour and spent it on the treadmill. I skipped two days since Sundays are supposed to be a day of joy and celebration; there is nothing more joyous or worth celebrating than not going on the treadmill.
I haven’t really enjoyed the 360 minutes I’ve spent on the treadmill; I mostly try to distract myself with music or podcasts. However I have enjoyed the feeling of being committed to something to which God called me. We always talk about how difficult it is to be committed to Christ and faithful to the calling on our lives. And sometimes it is difficult because we are fallen people living in a fallen world. But if we can get past our fallenness and resist temptation, there’s a lot of joy and satisfaction in remaining faithful.
Faithfulness also breeds faithfulness. Being faithful in spending time on the treadmill has also helped me be more faithful in my quiet times and other spiritual disciplines. I have to carve out 30 minutes of my day to spend on the treadmill. That intentionality in my schedule has helped me to be intentional with the other 23 and a half hours.
I was filled with dread when I felt the Spirit telling me to commit to the treadmill for Lent. It seemed like it would have been easier to give up something. Sometimes, though, adding something to our lives can be much more powerful than taking something away.
I just wish I had gotten to add a 30-minute nap instead of 30 minutes on a treadmill.
How are your Lenten commitments going?