• frivolity in Lent

    LightUpToday I was reviewing my site statistics from my old blogsite and was surprised to find that my most popular blogpost ever was the one I wrote on frivolity in our spiritual lives! Oddly, that seems related to Lent. I’ve already discovered that this Lent is a very different sort for me–it’s not about mourning losses or feeling the weight of sin, rather, it’s about light and allowing God’s presence to carry us with unexpected grace. That light and grace can foster the idea of frivolity.

    We often have a sense of the frivolous as mere frippery, adornment–“optional extras”–but without it, where do we land? We end up taking life to seriously. To be frivolous is to be playful, creative, inspired. We approach life with humor and humility (yes, those words are related) and bounce back from setbacks and failure because we are able to maintain a healthy perspective.

    I wouldn’t say Lent is generally a frivolous season, there is certainly a place in it for light and playfulness. Consider how you might incorporate frippery, humor, light and play into your Lent:

    • Return to scripture passages that made you laugh out loud. Read them again and share the joke with God. (My original post was prompted by reading the story of Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing. Jacob had an answer for everything!)
    • Got kids? Make it a Lenten discipline to play with them. You’ll have fun and get to know your kids better at the same time. Do this with intentionality and see what God spiritual surprises springs on you. You can also review scripture passages about children coming to Jesus and how he responds to them–and the adults who try to keep them away!
    • Return to a beloved craft and do it with intention and prayer. I’m a big knitter, of course, but most any craft that requires you to work with your hands–beading, painting, scrapbooking, woodcraft, cooking–can be used for meditation, prayer and pure joy just by turning off the TV and doing it in a quiet place. Need ideas? Check out Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation by Maggie Oman Shannon. This is a particularly good book if you don’t feel crafty, but like to keep your hands busy. Shannon has lots of great ideas for crafts made out of items kicking around your house, so it’s thrifty, too.*
    • Date your spouse. OK, maybe we’re going a bit far afield here, but when you strengthen any relationship, your relationship with God benefits. And I’m willing to bet that in February in the Midwest (or Maine) you and your honey haven’t moved from the couch very much. Figure out something fun you’ll both enjoy and go do it.

    The best way to lighten your Lent is to review your spiritual history and return to disciplines that you found life-giving, lightening, or that inspired gratitude, joy and appreciation of God. It might be as simple as listening and singing your favorite worship music. Rather than giving something up for Lent, readopt this practice.

    Lord, remind us how to come to you as little children, to let you handle all the serious stuff and to find joy in playing with you. Stay nearby and remind us you’re close, so we can run to you when we’re afraid and have the freedom of knowing your protection and security. Amen.

     

    Related Posts

    An appeal for frivolity

    How to enter the spirit of Advent by knitting

    Joy sneaker

     

    *Note: There are references to eastern prayer practices that some of my readers might find uncomfortable.

    What’s with the book link?

     

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