"Perhaps here is the message. Not a new one. One I know to be true and can espouse to others. Being purposeful is vital. Very little gets done without purpose and intention."
I think I failed Lent this year. I started out pretty good. 7:30 am Ash Wednesday service, morning meditation as usual. But something happened along the way, and it just sort of got away from me. I was on the road more than usual this Lent; maybe that was it. I’ve had a bunch going on at the office. I was recovering from a little surgery. I even signed up for a spiritual e-course that I haven’t immersed myself in as much as I thought I would. Hmmm....all speculation.
As I read Mark’s gospel this week, I realized we were already nearing the end. Judas is betraying Jesus. Already? How did this happen, that we’re already this close to the Passion narrative. I hate the whole betrayal thing. We’re here already? My mother told me that time passes more quickly the older we get. Mom was right. Again.
In my yoga classes, we start by taking some time to breathe and center ourselves, and then we set an intention for the class. The intention can be a quality we’d like to embody, like patience, peace, focus, or flexibility, or it could just be as simple as a quiet request. Stay centered. Be kind. Listen. This “setting an intention” is helpful. We go back to our intention several times during a class to remind ourselves of it and to realign ourselves with it.
Maybe that’s why I failed Lent. I don’t remember setting an intention. I didn’t give anything up this year, mostly because I was already doing Weight Watchers and feeling a bit deprived as it was. I didn’t take anything on, which is more often my discipline than giving things up. I don’t really know why. I just didn’t pay enough attention. What was my intention on that Ash Wednesday five weeks ago? I have no idea.
Perhaps here is the message. Not a new one. One I know to be true and can espouse to others. Being purposeful is vital. Very little gets done without purpose and intention. If I had set an intention for these weeks of Lent, if I had been more purposeful, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here now writing about how I feel like my Lent was less than meaningful.
There’s a little time left. Work is crazy busy. Lots of company coming. Can I at least take time to enjoy the dogwoods and azaleas and remember that there is life after death, life after a failed season of Lent?
Amy Sander Montanez, D.Min, has been a licensed professional counselor, licensed marriage & family therapist and spiritual director for over twenty years. She blogs weekly at Amy Sander Montanez. "Failing Lent" was first published in the last week of Lent, 2009 and was the Winner of the Polly Bond Award for Excellence in Spiritual and Devotional Writing.
Did you enjoy this article? Consider subscribing to Building Faith and get every new post by email. It’s free and always will be. Subscribe to Building Faith.