“So….What Are You Doing For Lent?”
I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the line, I grew to dread this question. And not just in an, “oh man I gotta think of something” kind of way, but in an annoyed, “Why do you care/it’s none of your business,” ugly kind of way.
I think this reaction may have begun from a sincere place. Lenten resolutions aren’t meant to be things we brag about; they’re supposed to be personal acts of love and penance offered to God. So, one year I took the advice to not boast about my sacrifice and instead try my best to keep it between God and me. But then somewhere along the line this shifted. What began as an attempt to correct prideful boasting went too far in the other direction and turned into a whole other kind of pride.
Maybe it’s that I’m worried my Lenten resolutions aren’t holy enough. Or maybe I don’t want to give other people the opportunity to see me fail. However you slice it, it boils down to pride. A pride that says, “My relationship with God is none of your business.”
So to go on record and to attack this tendency towards pride: I gave up sweets, Tyler and I gave up watching TV shows in the evening and are trying to devote that time to prayer/Spiritual reading instead. I’m trying to make it to daily mass at least once during the week with the little guy (though admittedly, the time change this past weekend and both of us getting the sniffles has made that a bit more challenging, but I’m not ready to give up just yet).
Nothing super holy. Nothing out of this world challenging. And yet I’ve already seen the struggle in it. That’s where I am this lent.
My past few lents have shown me that I need to walk the line between a pride that boasts in a “look how holy I am” attitude, and one that pushes others out with a “my relationship with Jesus is none of your business” kind of attitude. I need a humility that is unafraid to admit to both God and to my brothers and sisters that I need help in my journey towards Heaven.
So that’s what I’m doing for lent this year. That’s my answer to the dreaded question. What’s yours? Is my struggle between these two kinds of pride at all relatable to you?
Praying you have a blessed and holy lenten season!