The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Timeless lessons

A Lenten discipline brings awareness

It was a gesture made almost on impulse. The first morning of Lent, reflecting on the pastor's Ash Wednesday urgings to practice faith, I undid my wristwatch and put it in my car's glove compartment.

I don't know what led me to do this. But the impulse hardened into a resolution when I took off the timepiece. I would give up wearing a watch for Lent.

Even as I felt hopeful, a voice in my head responded, "Yeah, right." I work on deadline every day and grew up in a family in which punctuality was demonstrated to be common courtesy. It was rude to keep someone waiting, I was taught — a lesson I learned so well that when I'm rushing to go somewhere, my more laid-back husband teases me about "being late for being early."

How would such a time-bound personality get through 40 days, plus Sundays, without knowing what time it was every minute of the day?

Surprisingly, it was easy.

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