It’s been fun week for us here in Middle Tennessee.
We’ve had it all in terms of treacherous weather conditions, and as i write this, more snow falls.
Wednesday was Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent. Wednesday was also “Snow Day” for all schools and most businesses in Nashville including many churches, so Debbie did some calling and discovered that Christ the King was holding their regularly scheduled services for folks to receive their ashes (Ash cross on the forehead).
I had a surprise lesson about accountability embedded in the Homily. The Priest talked about the various “obligations” for Catholics throughout lent. Fasting on ash Wednesday, no meat on Fridays, and a personal sacrifice for the 40 days . . . giving rise to the question I’ve been accustomed to hearing every year of my life (I am Episcopalian): “What are you giving up for Lent?”
Just as with New Year Resolutions, the accountability for follow-through on these “givings up” commonly comes from friends and family . . . or not at all. Every year we make these promises, yet how often do we actually succeed in keeping them?
I’d venture to say most folks who give up something for Lent break that promise at least once within the first few days . . . and even when they’re caught by those who they’ve deemed their accountability partners, they shrug it off and say they’ll get back on track and that surely God would understand, right?
The priest shed some light on this flawed thinking. During lent, the Christian’s commitment is to God and not to friends and family. This is a very personal (private) promise made to God.
Put it in that perspective, and it suddenly becomes much more important to honor.
In fact . . . don’t tell ANYONE what you’re giving up for Lent – Just DO IT because that was your promise to God.
We all have our bad habits, and New Year and Lenten promises are the times when we ostensibly profess to break them and to live healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives.
So . . . THIS year, I have committed to what I’m giving up for lent. I decided this as I was leaving the Church @ Noon Wednesday . . . and so far so good on keeping the promise even as I’ve already been tempted . . . because I know that THIS is between me and God, and that should certainly be all the strength I need to succeed.
So . . . to whom are YOU accountable?
Are you your own promise keeper?
How do you resist temptation?
I look forward to hearing more about what you have accomplished and less about what you intend to do.
Nike NAILED it!
Just DO IT!