But, this year, a week into Lent, I'm still struggling. I have one bad habit I'm trying to break, but I'm really more at the self-awareness stage than the give it up completely stage. (This is an observation, not a cop-out. A week into Lent, imperfection still reigns as I continue to struggle). I had a good habit in mind as well, but have been slow to get started. (Again. Imperfection). I haven't given up yet, but the sense that I need something more keeps nagging at me.
While I'm not trying to be perfect, I'm searching for something that feels more like...I don't know. Like it matters? Like it has meaning beyond me?
Earlier this week, I sat down at my desk and found my answer. A few weeks ago, my parish used the photo above on the cover of its bulletin. In short order, I declared it the best bulletin cover ever and clipped it. Like many clippings, it bounced around my paper piles until I found it a home.
Above my desk, where it hangs from a peg on my peg rack.
It's simple, and it's meaningful, but what can I do with it? What does it have to do with Lent?
I can read it. Every day. Morning and night. I can remind myself that no matter what else is going on the world, I am not alone. Maybe I can even post it on the refrigerator for others I love to remember too.
This I can do.
More important, I can try to live it. Since imperfection seems to be the theme of the season, I'm sure I'll forget these things in the heat of the momen, forget that this is how God wants me to treat those I love. But, if I read this reminder every day, perhaps I'll remember more often.
I was a fully grown adult before I embraced the idea that Lent isn't about potato chips, French fries, chocolate or any of a number of temptations that loom before us on a regular basis. That doesn't mean we shouldn't give them up and perhaps I'm taking an easy route by not going cold turkey on something I can do without. And, while the world probably needs fewer potato chips, French fries and chocolate, it definitely needs more love and kindness.
I see this is one way I can take small steps toward doing my part.