This year, I was super hyped about lent. I bought a new Lenten devotional back in January and I couldn’t wait to start. I even planned to blog daily or weekly. In addition, I thought very hard about what to give up and practiced giving it up a few days before. This was going to be the best lent yet! Thinking back, I think I was so excited for lent this year because last year was a big fail! FAIL in capital letters, underlined, highlighted and printed in bold. At the time, I felt that too many things were going on for me to actively participate in lent. For example, I was staying with a family friend and on Ash Wednesday, I realized that I needed a new place to stay due to circumstances beyond our control(Long story that I wouldn’t like to re-tell). In the process, I allowed my pressing physical needs to overcome my spiritual needs. In fact, last year I don’t recall attending Easter vigil, my favourite mass of the year. I think I went with the family I stayed with for Easter service at their church and that was it for Easter weekend. I don’t believe I was able to make it to mass. The same me that on a regular day, Chrism mass, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, you can catch me in a parish near you. Anyways last year was a disaster and that’s why I was determined to redeem myself this year.
On Ash Wednesday this year, I was determined to conquer lent, I went to mass and got my ash on. Then I read my Lenten devotional which by the way is “She who believed” from Blessed is She. The devotional writer wrote a spoiler alert that despite our best intentions that “we will not fail at lent”, we most likely will. Of course, I rejected it in the name of Jesus as the true Nigerian I am. It’s her and her friends that would fail, not me. Especially not after I had prepared so hard.
However a few days ago, I found myself failing at lent and I began to despair. “Week one and look at me failing, what’s the point of even trying…etc”. Then came the realization that I have learnt over and over again: I had failed because I was relying on my own strength and trying to show God how great I can be at lent. In the abridged words of Jake Khym, “self reliance is practical atheism”. So at this point, I’m throwing my hands up and surrendering my lent to God.
You know all things and you know that in my heart I absolutely love you. You also know that I’m not perfect in as much as I would really like to be. I’m sorry for always falling short and trying to get through life on my own terms. Father save me from myself especially from despair when I find myself falling. Let me remember that no matter how hard I fall or how tall I’m standing you’re always behind me. Keep me in your love and help me navigate through life. Jesus I love you, yours I am, yours I want to be, do with me whatever you will. Amen.
Be free from all of my passion
See, Your love is enough
To make me new
And help me in these cycles, cycles