We are two and a half weeks into Lent and as usual, I have broken all my lenten goals. So it goes. This year, I put forth my most sweeping agenda yet, doing a pretty thorough moral inventory of my interactions with prayer, scripture, alcohol, generosity, exercise, and sexuality. And two weeks in, I’m back to square one. My temptation is to chuck it.
But why? This is where the Protestant in me must push back against my veneration of Lent. If these are the directions you want your life to go, keep pushing on. And has the Christian life ever really been about getting it right the first time? Grace, grace, grace.
Augustine, writing to a community in sin, had this to say: “Do not blush with shame and rush headlong into death by mental grief…but rather renew your salvation by being penitent.” I always loved this quote. Sin is an opportunity to renew your salvation. My failing is an opportunity to renew my desire to seek God. And my failing is an opportunity to remember that I only seek because of the unconditional love of God.
So…all you lenters. There are still 4 weeks until Easter. Let’s get back on the horse. Let us not run headlong into shame but use this opportunity to renew our salvation.