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….
Your turn: Did you give up something or add something for Lent this year? How is it going?
Categories: Spiritual Practice