Is Lent over yet?
This is the cry running through my head midway through the second day of Holy and Great Lent.
The second day!
What was happening?!
I love Lent! I love the yearly opportunity to regroup. I love the prayer services. I love the chance to focus on a healthier diet. I love the challenge of quieting down the world and working on the stillness for the sake of my soul.
But this year I am not prepared. My refrigerator is still harboring contraband. My pantry isn’t stocked with enough vegan ingredients to prepare anything more interesting than pasta or rice. And my house is a complete mess. This is not the way I wanted to start Lent.
And then I made the rookie mistake and went on Facebook first thing in the morning! I KNOW! What was I thinking?
Facebook can be a place of encouragement during the fast with recipes and inspiring quotes from the Bible and Elders… but not yesterday. Yesterday every comment was (or seemed to be) an attack on my senses. Unwanted advice, boasts of “holier than thou” comments, delicious vegan meals, and amateur debates on what the Fast really was had me in a tizzy. I must have replied to a snarky comment 20 times before I actually clicked send. And that’s when I realized it was me. I was a the mess.
Was it the detox from removing meat just a week ago? Was it my gluttony searching for a pathetic excuse to eat an egg? Was it my ego needing to be the only online expert? Probably more the last than any of the others.
I do like being a know it all. It’s comforting to think I have it all together.
But I don’t know it all. It’s not realistic. Imagine if the world depended on what I knew. YIKES!
I am, or I should say, I want to be a learner, a grower, a teacher, a friend. I want to be a faithful servant. I want to be a better parent. I want to be a better Christian. I want to use this time to face my challenges and my fears. I want to use this time to remember what I once knew and learn from those who forget less often. I want to show my soul that I value her and therefore want to nurture her so that she may thrive as well.
I am so thankful that Lent isn’t over yet. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish in the next 40 plus days left. It really is such a short time for this little boot camp of ours. Our sacred time outside of time.
So, I kindly and lovingly remind myself. “Suck in that gut, soldier, and stop your crying. You’ve got work to do.”
May God grant us a season for reflection, growth and tears- but may they be tears of repentance and not self pity.
Prayer of St. Ephraim
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Training Photo By: Sgt. Benjamin E. Woodle