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.
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?
For more on writing and other acts of faith,
sign up here for free email updates and receive
a copy of How to Pray When Prayer Seems Impossible