Last week we discussed Lent and some alternate ways of approaching it. Ivy and Cricket chimed in from the Jewish and Agnostic perspectives. We discussed doing adopting an enjoyable practice for Lent, only doing it better than we’d been doing it before because we would be treating it as a vocation from God.
On Friday, I went to daily Mass as I usually do, only to find the parking lot full. My first reaction was, “oh, for crying out loud…!” because it was hard to park. Usually there are thirty people for the daily Masses; on Friday, there were at least a hundred. I said to God, “Oh, sure, enhance everyone else’s spirituality at my expense.”
(Yes, I do joke around with God. God made me sarcastic, so God knows when I’m kidding. I was definitely kidding. You can start your heart again.)
My Patient Husband said, “Lent in the church is like January at the gym when everyone’s made their New Year’s resolutions. And all the regulars think, ‘When will these people ever leave.'”
Of course, I don’t want them to leave. I want them to stay, even if it inconveniences my parking and I have to walk fifteen extra steps to the church.
The question is, will these new Lenten habits last? Do any resolution habits last? In some cases, yes. In others, well, we have good intentions. Personally, if I don’t implement them as a program, the answer is a definite no. The changes simply don’t happen. That’s why I like spiritual reading for Lent: because even after the practice falls by the wayside, I keep the information.
Most of the profound changes in my life haven’t occurred due to a season or a resolution. They’ve just happened. I’ve already talked about beating depression by accident, but that’s one example.
My prayer-life jump started when one day I simply got hungry for prayer. I hadn’t prayed on a daily, organized basis in a while, and I guess my guardian angel prayed enough to win that as a grace for me. (I had no idea, but I’ve learned “hunger for prayer” is actually considered a gift of the Holy Spirit!)
My first intention was for the opportunity to pray again the next day, and I guess God didn’t mind, because it’s worked out ever since. I asked my guardian angel to be a complete mercenary and find me the time. If he could see that I was going to have twenty minutes undisturbed, he was to all but boot me in the head to let me know about it. And it’s worked every day for the last three years (including the time I got awakened at 10:30PM.)
Here’s your question: what big improvements have you made in any area of your own life? What spurred them? What made them stick?
Answer in the comments box or on your own weblog (and let me know so I can link to it!) and have fun!
Quick answer: My household routines. Small steps, change one habit at a time, keep on it, and look at the “endless grind” as an opportunity to create and haven for my family.