Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Lenten Challenge

In church this week, our priest spoke of the necessity of listening – and hearing. He spoke of how important it is to be fully present for our spouses, our children, not just listening with half an ear and going “um hmmm, um hmmmm” (ulp! guilty!) He also spoke of how hard it is to truly listen and to hear when our minds are unquiet, and we have a lot going on in our lives.

Lent starts with Ash Wednesday – this week.

I am tempted to give up extra noise for lent – to live a more silent and contemplative life.

Here is the problem – I love silence. I do listen to BBC when I am in my project room or in my car, but other than that, I don’t fill my life with a lot of noise. Silence is my friend. So for me, seeking more silence is not such a good thing, it is more like feeding an addiction. Listening to BBC is, for me, probably a good thing, keeping me more connected to the world, less in my ivory tower. It confronts me with problems in the world, and inspires me with people who seek to make a difference, even in a small way.

But that is not the point. The main point is to be fully present, to listen to those who are speaking and to hear the heart behind the words, and to love them as Christ loves us. I know that silence is not my solution, that paying attention is the real test. Focusing, paying attention – that is a real challenge.

It would be easier to give up chocolate!

February 23, 2009 - Posted by | Character, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Lent, Spiritual


  1. you go to church in kwt?

    Comment by Kharbota | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  2. But giving up chocolate wouldn’t have nearly as much of a payoff.

    Actually, in my case it might…

    Comment by ck | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  3. So you’re giving up chocolate for Lent ? My wife is staying off non-veg till Easter. I haven’t committed yet, although I’d like to try and see if I have the restraint to give up something I like for a short period. 🙂

    Comment by Mathai | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  4. Kharbota – See “So Many Christians!” You would be astonished how many Christians live in Kuwait – there are many Kuwaiti Christians, also Indian Christians, Phillipine Christians, Western Christians, African Christians, Chinese Christians . . . and on and on. It would be interesting to discover how many people actually living in Kuwait are Christian / Mormon / Bhuddist / Sikh / Hindi . . . etc. Based on percentage of actual population, people living here . . .

    And yes, we have churches here.

    In fact, the Anglican church is looking for a big villa to handle our growing numbers. It needs to have two big rooms for worship, several smaller rooms for Sunday School Classes (even the ones held on Fridays 🙂 and it needs to have good access to parking. And to be in an area where it won’t be offensive to the people living there, nor dangerous for those of us attending.

    If anyone knows such a wonderful villa, write to me and I will put you in touch with our fearless leader. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  5. LOL, no chocolate is too do-able, ck. I love chocolate, but I can live without it for 40 days. That’s why I am thinking “being present” is a much harder challenge. Not so much the silence part. 🙂

    Mathai – See above; no, not giving up chocolate because it is too easy. Thinking of giving us pretending-to pay-attention-but-really-thinking-about-other-things, because that would be really really hard for me. Last year I gave up cursing in the car, and pretty much, so far, so good, most of the time. 😉 That was HARD.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  6. I’m proud of Kuwait for having the freedom of worship

    Comment by AMD | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  7. Me, too, AMD. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 24, 2009 | Reply

  8. That’s an interest thing to consider giving up for Lent. Wanted to share Commissioned by Christ’s Lenten Challenge if you’re interested in trying it to practice prayer, fasting, and almsgiving with the convenience of social media weaved in! You can download the PDF files at Many blessings!

    Comment by Commissioned by Christ | February 15, 2010 | Reply

  9. pls visit & pray

    Comment by christministries | February 16, 2010 | Reply

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