Two years ago and five days before Lent, I stared at my Facebook feed and wondered, "What should I fast from this Lent?" All of my friends were posting their chosen fasts: Starbucks, media, food, and even Facebook itself. I tried each suggestion on and nothing fit.
I wanted a deeper, more transformative practice for the forty days of Lent, that led me closer to Jesus and breathed life into the dry places of my soul.
Even though in my non-denominational tradition, fasting is an optional practice, it's one I wanted to explore. I love the idea of letting myself be pruned so that good fruit may come, and denying myself some creature comfort felt like the proper pruning for me. Until I read the words of Margaret Feinberg in a blog post about fasting when she proposed:
But as I suggest in Wonderstruck, maybe the question we need to ask as we enter Lent isn’t, “What are you giving up for Lent?” as much as “What do you want to lay hold of during Lent?”
I felt that the continuous leading of the Lord towards the teaching of peace. So, I decided to spend my Lent laying hold of peace.
You know how you've been friends with someone a long time and you think you know everything about them and then one night over dinner you hear them tell someone else something about themselves that you never knew. Have you turned towards them the big eyes and exclaimed, "What? I can't believe I didn't know that about you?" Did you feel a renewed sense of wonder and awe for this person who you've loved for so long?
That's exactly how I felt when I realized that the peace Jesus gives us was so much more than what I thought.