As my website article explains in more detail, I've been intrigued by the plethora of books and movements based on "a year of..." experiments. Go to the Bishop's Corner on the Minnesota Annual Conference website (www.minnesotaumc.org) and read the full article.
During the days around Christmas, I read one of these books, The Year of Living Biblically, by A. J. Jacobs, who set out to explore the role of religion in his life and his fascination with biblical literalism. His witty and at times profound insights are worth the read. He set out on his year of living biblically acknowledging that he would undoubtedly be changed by the end of year and he wasn't sure just what those changes might be. Liking to be in control as most of the rest of us, it was a risk but a risk that he was willing to make. And, in fact, at the end of the year he is different in his approach to religion than he was when he began.
These books of experimentation in living differently for a year have some common components: a passion for learning or doing something different; an intense focus on one aspect of living which then limits the multitude of choices and resources of time, money, food, etc.; the sacrifice of choices that allowed the accomplishment of a (mostly) desired goal; but such endeavors of passion, intense focus, limitation and sacrifice are all very counter-culture.
A year of living differently. As for me, I'm going to journey on the road toward more (everything is relative) sustainable living based on my Christian faith.
How will you live differently this year? And even, dangerously (as in risky, uncertain where it will all end up, potentially costly or sacrificial).
Even if you're not quite ready to jump in there (there's always Lent!), what about this phenomenon of people (actually or vicariously) desiring significant change in who they are and how they live? Is this what discipleship is meant to be?