I struggled a bit with what I was going to do for Lent this year. In the past, I usually gave up something, and then went right back to it after Easter. This year, I wanted to do something that had the potential of sticking. Something that might make me better. Something that might make me more Christ-like. Giving up tea or Facebook games just didn’t seem to fit that bill. I might suffer a little bit for a few weeks, but then it would be over and I wouldn’t even remember what I’d done or changed myself or my life in any way, significant or otherwise.
Years ago, my father started going to daily mass, every morning, during Lent. It made such an impact on his life that he continued going until he was physically unable. Unfortunately, for me, my work schedule does not allow me the opportunity to attend daily mass as I work until 9:30 am and mass at the only church within reasonable driving distance starts promptly at 9 am.
A few years before my husband died, he quit drinking for Lent. He made the choice to abstain even after Easter. That man loved his cheap beer! It was a turning point in his life and our marriage and changed them both for the better.
I rarely drink. Not much of a sacrifice there for me.
It was when I was about to post on FB yet another complaint about not being able to sleep, that I realized what I could do that could change my life, make me a better person and help me to be more Christ-like.
Who, in the history of the world had more reason to complain than Jesus? Surrounded by people who sometimes doubted who he was, constantly besieged by others to heal them or bring loved ones back to life. On top of that was the knowledge that he was going to suffer and die a horrendous death. He put up with all of this for a bunch of sinners. He even had a face-off with Satan. For us.
I’m not going to kid myself and think I’ll never complain again. But if I can complain less and praise more, I’ll be happy. I hope those in my life will enjoy being around me more. I hope to draw closer to God and be more grateful. A life of gratitude has got to be more pleasant and more fulfilling than a life of regret and complaint.