We’ve moved beyond the season of Lent and into the joy of Easter. About this time each year, I reflect on how successful Lent was, comparing my plans on Ash Wednesday to how I crossed the finish line on Holy Thursday. I realize now that this exercise is pointless.
Like the change oil light on my dashboard, Lent is an annual reminder for me to reflect on how well I’m living my life versus the life that I want to live. I find it incredibly easy to lay out the perfect plan for my life and the goals that I want to achieve, but if I don’t get out of bed when my alarm goes off, I’m never going to achieve that vision.
I used to think of Lent as my one chance a year to make those changes, but just like New Years, that's a false assumption. The Christian life is supposed to be one of constant renewal, daily challenging ourselves to do better and be better.
I pretty much missed the boat on Lent this year. Between kids, new schedules, and travel, I can’t tell what I accomplished, or even attempted, during Lent. But the opportunity to start fresh is open to me even today. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, through the multitude of devotionals for daily prayer, or even by starting to see the service of raising my children and maintaining our household as a distinctly holy and noble task.
Goal setting is tough, and discouragement is a lot easier to find than encouragement. So if you have that feeling that Lent wasn’t all that impactful, perhaps you can turn that around by starting today on improving your life. Lent was just the reminder light coming on your dashboard.