I’m beginning to see why Lent is such a big deal. Doing something, or not doing something, for a couple weeks isn’t that difficult. It’s honestly a relief in some ways because you get the chance to establish new routines and forgo some middling or unhealthy practice. Life feels good after 16 days.
But then we have to keep going. We’re not even halfway done with this journey. We’ve still got 24 days to go. All of a sudden, this commitment I made is looking rather daunting.
Today was the first day I really wanted coffee. I had a latte yesterday because it was a sabbath day, but the only reason I got it is because I had a free drink at Dunkin that expires this week, so I needed to use it. I didn’t feel any urge to get it. But today, I saw the Dunkin app on my phone and all of a sudden a latte was the only thing I wanted. Even right now, at 8:45 pm, I want coffee.
I was sitting in bed with my wife a few minutes ago and we were enjoying an episode of West Wing. It went through my mind to skip this post and just go to sleep after the episode was over. I had a long day, I’m very tired, and I really didn’t want to spend time or energy thinking or putting these thoughts into words. I was ready to skip this altogether and make it up another day.
There were other things that I was doing a lot of at the start of this that I’ve struggled to find time for recently. I have a small 40 day devotional that has a very short, three paragraph devotional for every day in Lent. I’ve fallen nearly a week behind in that. I’ve wanted to read a chapter of the Good of Giving Up every other day. I’m only on chapter 5 when I should be on chapter 9 right now.
On top of all that, I struggled to stay off my phone today, constantly checking it whenever I was on a break at work. I struggled to stay focused at work because of everything buzzing in my brain, from the new shutdowns in Illinois to this new app on my phone. I was very out of it today.
Today I learned that Lent is a struggle. Breaking old habits and forming new ones, even for a 40 day period, is incredibly difficult. The easy part of the journey has concluded. I realize now that I’m in the thick of the wilderness and it is far too late to stop now. The only way to go is forward, deeper into the unknown of Lent.
I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back no matter how much I want to.