Rough Lent? Good Lent? Fruitful-but-Painful Lent? Let’s Talk.

Weak blog title, I know. If you’re reading this, know that it might get better. If you wanna stick with me, grab your java and jump in.

We’re two weeks into Lent. I haven’t felt this weak and run down in a good while. It’s not Lent’s fault — no, it’s just something that I’ve noticed more the more I’ve read things this week. The Pope’s final address yesterday…wow. Some great articles in the journoblogosphere. Raw, honest admissions from people across the world.

The Pope abdicating his throne was a shock. I didn’t take it so well. I recognized the absolute humility inherent in such a choice, and commended that, but I still felt taken aback. But you know what? Papa Benny is human. Humans are frail. I am human. I am…frail? Yes. Yes, I am.

I’ve never been so excited to get antibiotics as I was this week. After two weeks of varying states of misery, I finally took myself into an urgent care clinic and I admitted I didn’t think I could beat this on my own. My immune system is comprised by the meds I take, which is probably why a sniffle turned into a full-blown sinus infection complete with swollen lymph glands all over the place. But I didn’t want to walk in those doors. I ignored the advice of others and wanted to tough it out. The result? I probably ended up feeling incredibly awful for much longer than need be, had I just acknowledged my weakness and asked for help.

blargh. asking for help. acknowledging weakness. Those are things that are done when we’re at the end of our rope, right? Not something that should be done on a…regular basis. That would be… ridiculous. So I thought. Maybe I’m finally coming around on that front. Maybe being faced with my own weakness time and again is making me realize that my own thoughts on the subject are a bit…ridiculous.

My Lent is not your Lent, and your Lent is not my Lent. I’m convinced this liturgical season is incredibly good for me. The last few years, it has borne fruit that I’m still seeing in my daily life. That’s certainly a good thing. The few small changes I’m trying to make right now… they’re having an effect. At first I thought they weren’t. I thought maybe I needed to break myself down a bit more, just try harder, dig deeper to really make Lent a serious Lent. Heh. Sitting in a waiting room for nigh on two hours, incredibly ill with a pounding skull, I realized that wasn’t the case. I just needed to WAKE UP and listen.

God’s got my attention. We’ve got this communication channel thing going on and he’s helping me come to grips with a few realities I’d rather ignore. As much as we’re called to be “not of this world”, we’re still forced to live in it. I’m working with that. I’m working on letting his grace be sufficient – not all-encompassing, everything-is-gonna-be-fine-and-dandy, but sufficient. And I’m doing alright.

We’re two weeks into Lent. You’re gonna make it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. But if not for the crucifixion, there could be no resurrection. Walk your Lenten path and keep your chin up. I’ll see you at the end.

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2 thoughts on “Rough Lent? Good Lent? Fruitful-but-Painful Lent? Let’s Talk.

  1. Oh, that’s lovely. I really needed this. My Lent has been very stressful so far. I’m trying to offer all that stress up, but there are nights when the impulse to despair is very powerful.

    And you know what? I’m getting more and more upset as the Pope’s last hours draw near. It’s painful that he’s leaving. It’s painful to see all the vicious things being said about him by such wretched souls.

    • Oh, pal. I hear you. It is painful. And it’s even more painful because there are such turned-away-from-the-good people in the world. (I refuse to call people the Big E word unless necessary).

      I pray that you’re able to persevere despite the stress. Keep the faith, one day at a time. Know that when you wake up each day, God is (still!) sovereign despite what we’re experiencing here. Know that at any time we may be called from that which we both love and do not love, to He who is Love. In the meantime, I’m just trying to make it through with appreciation for this life that I’ve been given. Because it IS a gift, even in the midst of the tribulations. 🙂

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