Oh dear! Not done too well with the last week which was about unceasing prayer – being in the presence of God as Brother Lawrence wrote about. The other thing Jo Swinney was going to do was write in a Journal. I think I’ve decided that a routine is better for me because although I did think about God more it was not enough and I didn’t do any journalling. I’ve done it in the past and sometimes I’ve found it very useful but I (and this will sound like an excuse) just don’t have the time right now. I am up to my eyes in writing for various things in my life and I feel as if I am juggling too many jobs. So this last week felt like a week off! Having said that I am continuing to use a Bible study book called Explore which I am finding a great help and I haven’t missed a day even when I’ve not had time in the morning I have taken it to bed with me. I am also still using the Rita Snowden prayers before I go to sleep.
The course I am taking, Religious Order Then and Now, is also having an affect on me as I see how each Order lives. Going to the places where they live has much more of an impact than just reading about them. There is something going on inside me even if I am not sure what it is!
So what have I learnt from a month of trying different prayer methods? The big one is that routine is the answer. Without it I waver and let things drop. All I have to do now is find the right routine method for me.
I have now moved on to the next part of the book which is about Fasting. The author has dismissed food (she was pregnant when she wrote the book so a food fast was out of the question). Cutting out certain foods I think is a bit of waste of time – I don’t drink coffee or alcohol and giving up chocolate wouldn’t be a big thing for me as I can go weeks without it normally. One year for Lent I became a Vegan (I am already a vegetarian) which was tough when out. Only choice for food is jacket potato and beans (luckily I like that!). It was turning vegan for Lent that made me give up milk for good. I found I hated the taste of it afterwards. I do still have the occasional yogart, and a little cheese. I often take my own milk with me but sometimes I forget and will take a little ordinary milk but I prefer not to. So being vegan, while harder, is something I have done before but might be worth doing again. The other things Jo will fast from are hot drinks, sugar, media and reading fiction. It is the last one I am doing now, for this week. I have a huge non fiction book I am reading which fits in with one of my courses, However, I am missing a good story! I get moody. I’d have liked to try giving up books altogether but I need to read this. I’m not sure what I will do for my other three fasts. What I’d like to try is no computer for one and no TV for another. Both will be almost impossible. The TV is on a lot in our house. I have a hubby at home during the day and he likes to watch TV. It would mean spending all the time in the bedroom which is not practical! Computer, well I never take it with me on holiday or use any other computer to access my emails when I’m away. I like to be free! But at home right now I am busy typing stuff up, assignments, reports and I have to email orders. The only thing I could do is restrict myself to only those things I have to do and stop using Facebook and the internet for a week. It’s the only way I can see it working.
I guess I’m much more the type who would prefer to do something extra in Lent. I need to think about this fasting idea a bit more as I am not sure what else I can give up. Watch this space!