Walking Through Lent

For Lent this year, I decided to add a short walk to the mailroom and back every day. It’s not really much of a walk—just a minute and a half  from our townhouse to the common room, but I thought it would serve as a good Lenten practice: adding a bit of  extra time each day for reflection and fresh air, giving opportunity to greet neighbours that I don’t often talk with, picking up the mail that sometimes sits waiting for a week or more.

Calligraphy by Lois Siemens
Calligraphy by Lois Siemens

My first Lenten walk was on Ash Wednesday even before breakfast. It was too early to meet any of my neighbours, so I spent the time mulling over my verse of the day taken from my reading of the Common English Bible: “In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47). I wanted to go deep, to find that place of rejoicing whatever the day would bring.

The next day, I went for my Lenten walk when I got home from church. I had already done a half hour walk that morning, but I reminded myself that this was different. It wasn’t for general health and fitness, but a deliberate addition just for Lent.

So while supper was cooking, I walked to our common room and back, thinking again about my verse of the day—“Happy rather are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice” (Luke 11:28, CEB)—and greeting just one neighbour along the way who also seemed in a hurry to get home to supper.

The first two days went very well.

But those were just the first two days.

Since then I’ve discovered that adding even a very brief daily walk for Lent is harder than I thought.

In fact, after 26 days, it seems that instead of actually adding the walk each day, what I’ve really added is thinking about it—as in, “I’m going for a walk anyway so I should stop at the mailroom,” or “I’ll go as soon as there’s a break in the rain,” or “I should have gone this morning,” or “it’s almost midnight, do I really want to do that now?”

Some days I went for that walk, and some days I didn’t, but I always thought about it—in that way it was a good reminder. But for the rest of Lent, I hope to follow through.

So I’m going for my walk now—I’ll see you later. . . .

Writing/Reflection Prompt: Did you give up something or add something for Lent this year? How is it going?


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3 thoughts on “Walking Through Lent

  1. I usually don’t give up anything for Lent, but this year I felt that God was calling me to give up my compulsion to manage, control and, if all else fails, avoid the pain of loneliness and my own woundedness. It has been a rough couple of years – a divorce, my Mum’s death, the loss of my home and most of my possessions, the need to support myself and my daughter while dealing with chronic illness and pain. As much as I have worked with God through the dark days, to heal and live through them in the victory of a softened, more compassionate, trusting, submitted heart, I do often find myself sliding into my imagination, a tub of ice cream, a fave t.v show or a glass of wine to numb the pain. God is leading this journey to healing and a walk with Him that is deeper and more enduring that I could ever imagined, but it has not been easy. There has been a fair bit of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I’d hide under the bed if the cats and dust bunnies didn’t already own that space. He is faithful, and I am choosing daily, as best as I can, to walk with Jesus to Good Friday. And then, I’m like, Easter Sunday’s coming, right Lord? Sunday is coming?

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog. This is my first time here, and I feel right at home! thanks, April. 🙂

  2. Hi Kelly – thank you for sharing part of your story–it sounds like a difficult time, yet also a time of deepening and of hope in God. Easter is coming! God grant you joy and peace.

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