The conversations among many Christians throughout the world this time of the year revolves around what one gives up during Lent. The season of Lent usually calls to mind a time of discipline, of sacrifice, of giving up. Most years I have given something that I love up for Lent. Usually it is chocolate, eating out, or soda. Other times I have tried taking something on like exercise, clean eating, or blogging. Actually, my interest in blogging started during as a Lenten discipline.
This year I wanted to get back to the “heart” of Lenten practices, praying, fasting and alms-giving.
I wanted to start a practice of prayer — I was planning on taking some time each day to intentionally pray for the church, my friends and family, and others throughout the world.
I was going to fast. Besides a few youth events over the years I have never really intentionally fasted before. I thought it would be a good thing to try and something that would help me be thankful for all that I do have in the world.
I wanted to intentionally give. I was planning on giving my time, my talents and my treasure in ways I have never done before. I was going to cut back in parts of my life in order to give. Our family has a giving heart and I wanted to expand upon that.
This was my plan.
In terms of my plan Lent never really got off the ground. The week of Ash Wednesday I had a number of unexpected things happen in my life both in and out of the church. The next thing I knew I was a week into Lent and I had not even prepared myself. I wanted blog more, I wanted to pray more, I wanted to eat less and give more.
Then I thought that it was okay, no one is perfect I will start next week……that was around four weeks ago and no prayer, no fasting, no giving.
Granted other things have come up — I have taken on a new lifestyle practice in terms of eating. I have new ideas to enhance my prayer life and there are possibilities to give more and I am excited about this!!! However, this is not what I was envisioning for Lent.
So I ask myself, what happened? Did I fail Lent? Did I fail God?
I really felt bad about it, and then I realized that I did not fail. In fact, I am thriving more than I was at the beginning of Lent. At the beginning of Lent I had hopes and dreams for myself, I had expectations of what could happen but now I am living a life that is happening NOW. So many times in my life I try and live my plan when in fact I should be living Gods plan. I don’t know what is best for me – I can only guess and when I do I get it right 50% of the time. God gets it right all the time.
So if you have been “failing Lent” like I have — don’t worry about it because God may have a plan that you don’t know about and it could help you in ways that you can’t even imagine right now.