Ash Wednesday is tomorrow. Forty Days of Lent is about to commence. I am dreading the phone to ring …
“Christine, what are you going to be giving up for Lent this year?? Hmmmmm???”
“I don’t know Grandma, maybe [your phone calls] Curse Words again.”
“Okay Miss Sassafras, what will you be giving up?”
I don't know, I struggle with it every year! The Lenten Season has a purpose that is supposed to bring us closer to God; whether by taking something out of our lives, or adding to it, or a combination of the two. This is not an easy task or to be taken lightly by any means, at least it is not supposed to be; however over the years I have seen myself waiting to the last minute to decide on my sacrifice. In turn I wind up grabbing something random out of the air ….
Last year I gave up my snooze button since I am always late to everything. I thought it would make me on time for things, allowing me to slow down and take notice to that around me. I could spend the extra time at a more relaxed pace talking to God. Instead, I made it to day number five where I was cursing the world; by the way, my deepest apologies to those who my twenty minutes of sleep deprivation affected – you know who you are.
The year before that I gave up chocolate. Once day number uno began and I was being subjected to the notion that I could no longer be enjoying the sweet morsel, well I began cursing at the world; again, my deepest apologies to those, you know who you are.
Before that it was, how do I put this … as a single woman in her twenties I enjoy pleasure … and as a woman in the comfort of her own skin I can admit that I tend to enjoy that pleasure personally …. Do not judge me, I am single and frustrated! However, I was once again facing a deadline and needed a resolution and I grabbed it out of the option pail … give up self pleasure. To those who this affected, again, my deepest apologies; I will make no excuse for my behavior but I will say it was similar to the chocolate, once given up I needed it to function!
Each of these choices was just something I jumped into because the hour is late and a decision must be made.
Interesting. How many of us have made decisions today alone based on this concept: The hour is late and a decision must be made. For every action there is a reaction and for every choice there is a consequence. Look at my history – my consequence is I am forced to apologize for my behavior after every Lent season instead of being embraced by a closer understanding to the meaning of sacrifice. I feel forced to make a choice and then get pissed off for I know it was the wrong one, yet feel it is too late to change it now!
WRONG! As the creator of our lives God gives us free will, and inside that free will we are shaping our destiny, making our choices. We are human and must learn that at times we will make bad choices … at times we will regret the decision made. But we forget that we have the power to not only change our decision, but take the time to think it through and make numerous selections if need be. We do not have to stand by one particular decision if it means it is tearing us apart; if it is not providing a comfort, a satisfaction, an addition in a positive aspect to our lives. Just as we have the option to make choices, we have the option to re-evaluate and make changes. Sometimes this means scrapping the ideal / decision / option / thought / rationalization / choice completely and sitting in neutral until an alternative can be met.
For the next forty days I refuse to let another Lent season pass by with me filled with remorse for not finding a more meaningful resolution. Instead when this season is over I will be in harmony as I have finally tackled a true sacrifice - letting go of the past choices in order to fill life with those of greater meaning … choices that support our happiness, and balances, rather than making us tight-walk.