It’s been nearly a week since we started all this.
With ashes smeared upon our foreheads, we committed ourselves to new disciplines. Our motives are good: we have dreams and desires to refresh our relationship with Jesus. We’re in the desert to detoxify and prepare for the joy of that great Sunday, the holy day of Easter.
We’re trying to let God have with us what God will. We have a long way to go to really be ready. Our trying turns into trials. Over and over we keep encountering an important Lenten truth: we’re really not that great.
That lack of greatness is an uncomfortable consciousness. For some of us, it’s much easier than others. Some people are incredibly disciplined and are used to working on getting better. Their life is structured around the flow of “yes to this,” and “no to that.” It amazes me.
For others like me, the attempts of taking on Lenten disciplines are simply an experience of knowing again and again how undisciplined I really am. I keep messing up and forgetting. I keep wondering if I need to pick a new focus–all my attempts are just making me feel awful about how terrible I am at being disciplined.
You see, one of my intentions is to simply take a 10-minute afternoon walk and focus only on the beauty of creation during that time. How’s this been going? Well, it hasn’t. It’s awful. I pile on excuses about why I can’t make that pause or just completely forget about it. Overall, I keep realizing how much I need Jesus; how much I am clueless and lost and nothing without him.
The thing about Lent is that it is indeed a time when we must pray, fast and give alms so we can be more open to hearing Jesus’ messages. To start, it’s much easier to listen to Jesus if we are aware of how much we need to listen. Maybe that’s the whole point. I need to be humble, weak and feel sort of pathetic. I have to let go of my pride to really be dependent on God. Then, maybe I’ll be much better at letting Jesus satisfy my thirst.
In the meantime, I am so thankful that in my trials of renewing my relationship with Jesus I have this time to refresh and this space to restart.