“Lent helps us and thus we leave behind old habits and the lazy addiction to the evil that deceives and ensnares us.”
Occasionally I find it helpful to visit with a counselor and process my reactions especially when life is feeling very full. My most recent appointment with him happened to be on Ash Wednesday, right after I received my ashes. I immediately disregarded the Gospel of the day and complained about how hungry I was to my counselor and then launched into my latest laundry list of the things causing me some anxiety and frustration. About halfway through my monologue, my counselor slowly raised his hand inviting me to yield. He replayed the three or four instances I had rattled off, and asked me for each, "is it really so?" meaning, did it actually happen or am I assuming it did happen or projecting it might happen. I conceded that at least three, I was projecting. "Are you fasting today?" He asked me motioning to my ashes. I nodded yes. "Might you want to do some fasting from the ‘not so’ this Lent?"
In our early CLI programs, we used to talk often about how we all are students at "MSU" – the university of "making stuff up." How often in my life and leadership do I fill myself up on what could happen or what I think happens versus what is true and factual? Stuffing myself with what I imagine might satiate me for the moment, but does it really satisfy? Does it leave me or others with peace? As we reflect upon our Lenten duties of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, can we empty ourselves of what we might want to be true in order to pray for the wisdom to embrace the truth, and to share that truth with others? Forty days is a great amount of time to start a new habit.