Lent scares the daylights out of me.
Every year I spend weeks trying to think of The Thing To Give Up or The Thing I Will Start Doing, wringing my hands all the while.
In recent years, in fact, I’ve looked up and realized three to four days have passed and I still haven’t done (or not done) something for Lent. At that point, I flog myself (figuratively) for being a Lent failure, then proceed to go through the season feeling heavy and guilty and lousy for not “doing” Lent.
I find the whole thing overwhelming. I look ahead for 40 days and see peril and pitfalls everywhere. Each new days feels like an opportunity to falter, to let down God in a way somehow more profound than the ways I let Him down every other day.
Am I the only person who does this? And why is this so hard for me? There are infinite possibilities for acts to perform, treats to avoid, books to read, prayers to say. Heck, Franciscan Media has a whole page online devoted to Lent and ways to approach it.
Yet I freeze up like a deer in headlights each year as Ash Wednesday approaches, seemingly ready to plow me down as it speeds toward Holy Week.
My friends, I need your help. What can I do, or stop doing, this year? I need something I can actually stick to and accomplish and, in doing so, glorify God.
Do you have any suggestions for a Lent loser?