A Reflection on Failing Lent

Last year was the first time in my over half-century life I’ve observed Lent. I didn’t grow up in a church that acknowledged it, and only in the last few years have I begun to experiment with living by the liturgical calendar. Rather than think about giving something up, I chose to frame it as adopting a practice: the spiritual practice of editing. I was both a composition teacher and a writer at the time, so it seemed fitting. My intent was to create space in my life by choosing less activity. I wanted to stop multitasking, to reorder my priorities, to hopefully surround what I did with space and silence which would lend more power and intention to my words and actions.  

Twenty days into the forty, I admitted on this blog that I was failing Lent.   

I’d had in mind things like cooking in silence, without HGTV or Food Network blaring from the corner of the kitchen. I would refrain from checking my phone at a red light. I would not do two things at once, a skill I’m proficient in after twenty-eight years of marriage and motherhood. But my life-long idol of productivity, my fear of wasting time, my altar of efficiency all demanded the same sacrifices I’d always made to them. I began to wish I’d given up sugar instead. Life was slowing down and space and silence began to expose my obsession with filling every minute with occupation. I then filled the silence and the space.  

In failing Lent, I observed perhaps the most important lesson Lent will ever teach me... Follow me over to The Mudroom Blog where I'm a guest writer today to read the rest of the post.