St Francis should be disappointed in me (but I know he is not)….
The other day one of my best friends from my hometown texted me about how she loves the Lenten season. Hm. Honestly I cannot share her enthusiasm. I always feel that I fail at Lent. I fail, not only at fasting from… whatever, but at having a powerful spiritual experience during Lent. Doesn’t happen.
One year I was trying to be super holy and I gave up something like ten things and when I went to reconciliation to complain about how pathetic I was at failing at my long list of “fasts” the priest kindly chided me, “Just pick one thing!”
A co-worker/friend asked me today why I “give something up” and I came clean. I said, “Actually I gave up junk food mostly because I am trying to lose weight.” He thanked me for my honesty.
Giving up Facebook seemed like a big deal for me … but honestly …was it? Do I miss it now, almost 3 weeks later? Hm. Well, when I really think about it, sure I do miss FB … but really … I have not been thinking about it all that much now and hey, I am good. Shrug. I don’t miss it. It’s nice to take a break. And yeah it will be nice to go back to being on social media again. But. I am good now. It is not affecting me. It does not feel like a horrible sacrifice.
The other day the idea came to me that next year I should fast from buying anything for myself during Lent. That would be hard… about as horrible as giving up coffee for Lent, which I did last year and I wanted to seriously maim someone. Not good. And what if I really need something? Ugh. Maybe not.
The big question I need to ask myself is~ What am I getting out of my fasts? Am I growing closer to Christ during this Lenten season by fasting in this way?… because really that is what it is all about. And I can honestly say: No. I just took something I enjoy out of my life and I just do other things to fill that time. I fail because I need to fill that time with Jesus somehow. But I don’t.
Thing is~ I need to find something new to do during Lent. It doesn’t seem fresh or interesting anymore. I need to plan what I am going to do for Lent a month or so before Ash Wednesday. It doesn’t need to be a huge thing, but I do think I need to plan it and perfect what I want to do. Something epically holy.
Because right now it just doesn’t seem like I am climbing that mountain. I am just stuck in the doldrums, a dark night, going nowhere. I should be experiencing something. I should be getting something out of this. I want to be new once Easter comes. But usually I am just thankful Lent is over and that I can finally do or have what I wasn’t allowing myself to do or have. Like, “I did it!” woo hoo. great. But am I changed? because I should be. I should be new. Resurrected.
Only two-ish more weeks of Lent. So I will soldier on with what I am doing. Acknowledging that I have epically failed this year… But next year. Ah. Next year I will definitely DO something amazing … something amazing that brings me closer to Christ. Because facebook and junkfood fasting just ain’t doin it…
Actually I think I am going to give up saying ‘epic fail’ right now.