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Wednesday Reflection

Lent or Lento?

The first three months of the calendar year can be particularly challenging; not least because of the demands we often choose to place upon ourselves. In January, the making (and breaking) of New Year resolutions can heighten our sense of weakness and inadequacy. And then we enter the season of Lent: this is, rightly, a time for self-reflection which may also involve a temporary ‘giving up’ of certain pleasures in life. I have often been struck by the similarity between the words ‘lent’ and ‘lento’; the latter being the Italian term (frequently used in music) to indicate a slow tempo. Might it be more helpful if, instead of giving things up, we took everyday tasks at a slower tempo? This may refer to how we eat, or move, or even something as routine as writing an email. By adopting a slower speed, we may find ourselves more fully appreciating aspects of our lives that we can too easily take for granted. Haste might be a good thing to give up for Lent. And one final thought: Jesus – despite all the demands and pressures in his earthly life – never seemed to be in a hurry. Yet look at what he achieved (and still does). Lento personified.

Written by James Robertson