So last year was the first time I tried to practice lent. I wish I could say it was a wonderful and spiritually enlightening experience, but I have to admit that I failed not once
, but twice
to stick to a 40 day focus on lenten sacrifice. I don’t belong to a faith community that “requires” or “expects” me to give anything up for lent, so the implications of my dropping the lenten ball are few. I might have even given up on the notion if it were not for a conversation over Sunday dinner this past week that led to an idea. While creative ways to fast for lent
have become increasingly common, Martin and I have agreed to try something that has us both curious and more than a little trepidatious.
Inspired by a conversation about practicing what our faith preaches regarding bearing with one another and forgiving grievances in love
, Martin and I plan to spend the next 40 days doing our best to forgo our right to be right. In a nutshell, that means being completely patient and tolerant with one another…even when one of us pushes a button, uses an abrupt or annoying tone of voice or touches on a pet peeve.
Damn, this is going to be hard…
Not sure where this will take us or how long we’ll be able to stick with it, but just deciding to take the step has already begun to show us how frequently we a) point out each others’ shortcomings and b) get defensive when our shortcomings are pointed out. In fact, for the past few days we’ve been laughing together as the situations come up saying, “get it all out now, only x-number of days ’till lent.”
It is not lost on us that this may be opening a Pandora’s box. Then again, if we can’t practice unconditional (and genuine) love and tolerance in our own home, how can we expect to do it with friends, neighbors and enemies? This little lenten experiment may have a lot to teach us. This should be interesting…