For the past 40 days, I resolved (and mostly failed) to deepen my spiritual life. That’s the thing about resolutions, whether for New Year’s or for Lent – good intentions only go so far. I have yet to completely figure out how to change my behavior in one fell swoop. I think Jeffrey Olson in his book, The Slight Edge has the right idea – it’s only by taking small steps, done over and over and over that we are able to make the changes that will eventually grow into the results we want. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, is writing a book called Before and After about how we develop habits, and her blog has some great ideas as well. More about that in a future post . . . this one is about the deep thoughts I learned during Lent!
One of the habits I tried to cultivate was doing a couple of new online devotionals, one of which was from biblegateway.com. Here’s one of the quotes they provided – I really like the joy inherent in this one:
“A healthy Christian is one of the liveliest creatures on earth. When he is at work you may hear him sing. He cannot help it; do not blame him for a little noise. Let him sing, and laugh till he cries. Sometimes he cannot help it; he will burst if his soul may not have vent. When he begins to talk about his Lord his eyes flash fire. Some people hint that he is out of his mind; but those who know best assure us that he was never before so sane as now. Of course, the world thinks religion is such poor stuff that nobody could grow excited about it. To my mind, cold religion is the nastiest dish ever brought to table. True godliness is served up hot. Newness of life means a soul aglow with love to God, and therefore earnest, zealous, happy. Let the believing man have space for his larger life, swing for his grander joy. Nay, do not gag him; let him sing his new song. If any man out of heaven has a right to be happy, it is the man who lives in newness of life. Come, beloved, I want you to go home to-day with the resolve that the newness of life shall be more apparent in your walk. Do not live the old life over again. Why should you? What good would come of it?” — Charles Spurgeon, “Christ’s Resurrection and Our Newness of Life”