The final days of Lent are upon us and again I am left to wonder what happened to these forty days. Lent is a time I usually look forward to. I see it as a time for change in my life. Pruning out the bad habits and growing in virtue.
Most years I get overly ambitious and set out to do a long laundry list of things. This year I decided to keep it more simple. Still all good intention aside I feel like no progress was made and wish for a little more time to prepare for Easter.
Last Friday I packed up the kiddos and took them to Stations of the Cross. Before Stations began the priest told a little story and related it to how his Lent did not go as planned. Here we are in the final days, he reminded us that if our Lent was anything like his to not be discouraged we still have time. Make the most of today. Seemed exactly what I needed to hear.
We were the three ring circus in a quiet church mostly filled with retired people. Grace took off her shoes and socks and threw them over the pew and continued to do so with everything in the diaper bag exclaiming, “uh-oh!” Diaper bag emptied she threw a fit finding that her snacks weren’t in there. Every few sentences the boys were tapping me on the shoulder asking me where we were in the book.
The 45 minutes felt more like a workout than a time of prayer and reflection on our Lord’s passion. At the end a man walked up to me and thanked me for making the effort of bringing the kids. While it would have been easy to leave the church feeling frustrated, somehow I left feeling renewed.
My Lent may have not gone according to my plans, but every day I am given multiple opportunities to grow in virtue. To make sacrifices. To die to myself and give completely to those God has placed in my life. To grow in patience. To let go of my will. To love completely even when exhaustion has set in. To do all of this with a joyful heart.