Failing Through Lent

Failing Through Lent
I’m blowing it more than usual this year.

It’s weird. On one hand, I’m more or less ignoring everything I said I was going to do this year during Lent. Rather than fast from anything this year, I decided to take on a couple of practices as we move toward Easter. It was a great idea, at least in theory. I was going to join our church’s “huge small group,” dedicated to daily, guided scripture reading and prayer. I decided to partake in my first photo challenge, the 40-day one we offered here on Ash Wednesday. Finally and probably most importantly, I decided to write a letter to my mom every day during Lent. She passed some 20 years ago and I’ve recently realized I never properly mourned her death.

So a week and a half in I’m basically doing none of those. Scripture reading: curbed. Photo challenge: abandoned. Writing to mom: never left port.

On the other hand, I can’t recall being more focused during Lent. Without any self-judgment, I’m keenly aware of how I’m not making time for scripture reading. Even without posting photographs, I’m spending each day mulling over whatever that day’s theme is. And continually rolling through my mind are the things that I should be expressing to my mother.

So in a weird way I’m achieving the end without the work of the means, which I wouldn’t have thought was possible. I’m not advocating that you drop whatever you established as your observance of Lent this year, but I’m encouraging you to not give up if you’ve faltered early in the journey. Don’t feel like you have to start at the beginning and catch up. Just start right wherever you are and move forward from there.

And even if you’ve accomplished nothing so far, look for some meaning in your inaction. What can you learn from you?



Photo courtesy of Jennifer Flora

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