LENTEN CONNECTIONS: Simple Thoughts

“For as woman thinks, so she is.” Jennifer Rothschild

I enjoy Spider Solitaire. It’s the only computer game I play and I carefully limit the time I spend playing it. Nevertheless I decided, rather impulsively, to give up the game for Lent. I made the decision; then I thought about it! What I could I possibly learn from this strange choice? Would God choose to teach me through this decision? I became curious and expectant.

When I am curious about something, I start to research. I glance through several devotionals; the writers recommend that this Lenten season, the path to travel is one of simplicity. A woman mentions to me that her priest tells her Lent is a time to slow down and simplify. I read somewhere that Lent is a season of fasting, self-denial, Christian growth, penitence, conversion, and simplicity.

Interesting, but my mind is focused on other things. A busy day follows and by evening my thoughts are running wild. I sit down at the computer, my mouse posed over the Solitaire icon—-I want to be distracted from my rushing thoughts. Then, it occurs to me, there is nothing simple about my thought life. And surely, Lent is about me taking a break from things that prevent me from hearing the voice of God, so I might focus on the truly important. It becomes evident Solitaire is not a distraction I need; rather I need God to help me de-clutter my thoughts in order to simply focus on him.

Simple thoughts; should this be my focal point this Lenten season? Philippians 4:8 reads as follows:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Simplicity then, is both a mindset and a spiritual discipline rooted in purposefulness toward God. It is to characterize all aspects of our lives, but for me, this Lenten season I will begin with my thought life.

Prayer: Lord, grant us grace to recognize when our thoughts are not simple. Help us to create times in which we focus on the important, times when we tune out every voice and distraction and turn our eyes to you. Lord, we want to hear what you are speaking to our hearts. Amen.

Contributed by Daryl Ginter

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