The 17th-century French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, said that most of us spend our lives seeking diversions and distractions in a desperate attempt to avoid the hard but simple questions that actually are essential to leading a satisfying life:
· Who am I?
· What is the purpose of my life?
· What does God want of me?
Look around you. Basically, our culture is running in circles, avoiding the deep thoughts that lead us to focus and direction. We eat and drink, gamble, and gossip, seek out the most mindless entertainment, waste our lives in television and social media obsessions, run from event to event - avoiding the thoughts that ultimately will transform us.
Lent is a made-to-order time to stop the frantic pace, and move in a new direction. Right now, as you are reading this blog, identify the diversion or distraction that most frequently keeps you from thinking the thoughts you need to consider. What is the distraction that is stealing your time and ultimately your effectiveness? You can probably identify it almost instantly.
Now consider how you can reduce that distraction’s hold on your life.
Are you preoccupied with eating and drinking? Then fast regularly throughout this season.
Do you watch too much television or spend too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? Then give yourself a specific time limit and stick to it.
Honestly, now. Do you slip into gossip and critical conversations when you are just “chatting” at work or on the phone? Monitor yourself. Resolve to end the conversation when the critical or “snarky” thoughts start to surface. This may be a real timesaver for you. You may find that your conversations become much shorter.
Are you constantly on the run? Is your calendar packed? Then do a calendar edit for the rest of Lent. Anything that isn’t essential, mark off. Take the time you save to invest in thinking and praying through these questions.
You have to slow down, sit still, separate from the superficial, and turn off the chatter long enough to hear God speak, and to answer thoughtfully. You are a magnificent creation, made for intimacy with God. Your one and only life has incredible purpose. God has a plan for your life, and He is anxious to share it with you. Lent is a perfect season to get that conversation going.