On Sunday we discovered that an Inside Straight is a poker hand which has 4 of the 5 cards missing – the optimistic poker player is betting he can draw the missing card from the deck and complete the winning card! Our Lent practices of Putting Down and Picking Up provide us with the 4 cards we need to get our Inside Straight. But without God’s presence in these moments, we are missing what we need to complete the hand, we are simply engaged in self-help – which is not all bad, but it’s not a winning hand!
The daily devotional pattern that we are providing as part of the Lent Experience is an opportunity to create space for God to get your Inside Straight. It’s a simple rhythm with the same basic activity set for each day. If you miss one, don’t stress – leave it and move on or try it another day – the most important thing is that we seek God’s presence this day (rather than beat ourselves up for yesterday’s omissions).
Keeping a journal in hard copy or on the media device of your choice is a great way of keeping track of your Lent Experience. Here’s the rhythm:
REFLECT offers an opportunity to process and decide what this week will look like following on from our time together on Sunday and the week that has been. Yesterday’s blog entry provided the reflection questions along with a summary of the Sunday message.
READ is a chance to engage with the scriptures. Take the scripture into your day. Maybe a key phrase or print it out and reflect on it when you have some down time at the lights, in a queue, feeding the baby etc. This week’s scripture is Psalm 6 – it’s some good psycho-drama soul therapy!
RESTRAIN is a day of fasting. Today we’re fasting from a media device of your choosing – TV, computer, games, IPOD, phone – take time to reflect with all that time you’ve saved(!) and notice any changes in the way you interact with others and God.
RESPOND is taking up the challenge to notice the needs of another and to respond with action. This week’s RESPOND is to encourage – a note of appreciation, a kind word, spending time with someone in need etc. The point is to NOTICE and to RESPOND.
The RECALL FRIDAY is a call to pray the events, experiences and emotions of the past week. To recall and to offer them to God. Being real about the disappointments and thankful for the positives. Setting aside 5-10 minutes of quiet for this special TGIF will likely help you make this happen.
Take some time out to do something that is personally refreshing to you. It doesn’t have to be long or expensive. But treat yourself to the gift of a little personal down time or attention. Allow the moment to RESTORE you.