Toni is a lover of the outdoors, and an avid sports person. She can hike, bike, or paddle more miles in a day than I could in a month. Okay…many months!
Toni is also the National Coordinator of LIFE Ministries for the Marianist Family. LIFE (Living In Faith Experience) is a summer camp experience for high school students. The latest LIFE e-newsletter came today, and included a Lenten reflection written by Toni. She has kindly given me permission to share it with you.
Last Lent, I picked up Fr. James Martin’s Seven Last Words. My intent was to read a chapter a week, but of course, the busyness of life & LIFE got the better of me. On Good Friday, I rode my bike out to the Wissahickon Trail and hiked a little up Forbidden Drive. I sat next to the creek for a solid hour or so, and I read the entire book. I was having a truly difficult year, and being able to reflect on the meaning of Good Friday, even if just for a short time, allowed me to put my challenges into perspective and move on.
I think the biggest blessing about that day, even more than reading the book, is that I got out of the city & had some desert time. I was alone, I had time to think in the quiet, and I was able to just “be” me. Sitting with nothing but the sound of the water, the birds chirping and the wind rustling through the trees reminded me that life does not have to be complicated. Choose your battles. Breathe. That is what this time of year is for. How can your life be simpler? How can your life be better because of this simplicity? How can you be of better service to others through this realization?
I like Toni’s version of Lent, focused on BE-ing more than DO-ing. Stopping to Breathe. Seeking – and finding – the wisdom you need at this moment in life.
Toni reminds us that “life does not have to be complicated”. Her “simple” questions hold so much wisdom and truth. How can my life be simpler? Better?
Seeking this simplicity isn’t just for my own peace of mind and soul. How can it free me up to be of better service to others?
May we all find our own desert moment this Lent. Time to BE amid the busyness. Time to Breathe. Time to…
Be still and know I am God.