I have cheated on Lent. This is particularly embarrassing following my previous Lenten post. I have cheated in two ways. Once was completely accidental… initially. The second was completely willful.
I am okay with the forgetting. I mean I am not okay with it. It shows that I’m not really mindful of the sacrifice. It should hurt some ( but not in a totally masochistic way). It should be a sacrifice. If I gave up something, I don’t really do then there wouldn’t be much point. But I understand that sometimes you forget. You need to be reminded. So you let God know that you are sorry, ask for forgiveness, wisdom, and strength. Then you move on.
That’s all cool, but what about willful disobedience? I think the biggest thing that it reveals to me that I cannot love God as he deserves. I try, I do all sorts of things to express my love but it is never enough. Not only is it never enough, but I do all sorts of things to sabotage.
In one of my classes last quarter, we spoke about Calvin’s claim that humankind is utterly depraved. My professor, though not a Calvinist, had a pretty sympathetic view on depravity. It is not that humanity is as bad as it can be. After all, people can always be worse. The problem is that in and of ourselves we can never be good enough.
So as I repent I am mindful that it is not my performance. It will never be good enough. It is Christ. It is who he is and what he has done. I pray as I cling to him that he renews and transforms. And I try again.
So that’s my story… any practical advise for someone who sucks at this Lent thing?