Late last year I saw a friend in the Homestead Court Club weight room. As he was leaving I said casually, “Take care. See you back soon!” His reply? “No, not in here for awhile!” Curious, I asked him why. His answer fascinated me. He explained he was initiating a 100 day plan to navigate the pandemic winter months, including holidays and strategic outings while maintaining personal safety protocols with which he was most comfortable. The virus numbers that week tripped over his comfort threshold for working out at our club, so he triggered his 100 day plan, which he continues to use until today.
What an intentional, wise and healthy way to consciously walk through this challenging chapter! His humble yet clear explanation drove me to examine my own plan…uh, er, ahhh actually create a 100 day plan for myself. His plan includes physical, mental, social and familial elements which bring him profound meaning and comfort while helping him stay fit, alert and appreciative of each day. I have spoken often about a Rule of Life, a personal plan for daily spiritual nurture in the Christian faith, and have something approaching a physical Rule of Life for exercise. But his explanation challenged me to go deeper and more reflective, thanks be to God. So I began this new year with my own 100 day plan which takes me to my daughter’s 18th birthday on May 9th. What’s included?
As Mother Emily preached so powerfully this Sunday past, available here if you missed it, in terms of spiritual disciplines I am actually doing less things. My intuition is being confirmed daily that 2021 would prove more unpredictable in your life and my life than was 2020, so me loading up on multiple time intensive tasks seemed foolish if I was to be more available to you and to myself. Since we’ve basically “Lented the Lent” out of this past year, my Lent is not extremely penitential in tone! I am not giving up wholesale anything this year for instance. I am taking on some continued house clearing in terms of family items which desperately need sorting, editing and lightening. I am continuing to read my Raymond Brown theological tome and will return to more regular biblical Greek study when we complete these devotions. Brains do need feeding after all!
I am working out six days weekly during this 100 days. I am making meals five days a week while reserving one night to go get takeout and interact with other human beings. I am doing something completely different and painting for the first time in over 30 years. It’s been an out-of-body experience for which I am extremely grateful. I am enjoying at least once weekly (and sometimes more) Zoom or FaceTime cocktails or co-watching virtual cinema with friends. And this 100 days will also be a time to complete some long-promised journaling and reconciling contact with some folks I need to reach out to badly. Circling around to complete/fulfill/finish some relational commitments out there prior to Easter.
That’s me! And you, dear readers? Your plan? Anything new and different and sorta terrifying to contemplate (painting!)? Anything relationally intentional? Anything need cleaning, emotionally or spiritually or relationally or all of the above? Anything you want to forego for Lent, or perhaps gently take on?! As my old produce manager at Winn-Dixie Grocery Stores used to say, “Brooks, plan your work and work your plan!”