When I saw my boyfriend’s profile on Plenty of Fish last March, I figured he had given me up for Lent. When Easter came and I saw him pictured with another woman on Facebook, I knew he had given me up forever.
Nevertheless, I slid on my sparkling jacket, wore my shimmery beads and wrote “Happy Mardi Gras!” on my classroom whiteboard as the time for Lent drew nigh. With my Catholic family around the world, Ash Wednesday found me fasting and at Mass in preparation for the Resurrection of our Savior, while I offer yet a different sacrifice this year.
Since my conversion, things given up have included bread, chocolate, sweets, even credit cards. Things added have ranged from reading my Bible to picking up trash to listing 10 blessings daily.
The most difficult sacrifice, however, was two years ago when I vowed to give away a dollar each day of Lent. Unilaterally, I decided that the money had to go to someone in need, such as a student without lunch money or a homeless person at an intersection.
Sadly, by Good Friday, I had distributed only one dollar and ended up giving the leftover $39 to the Church, greatly disappointed that the money had not served to make me feel generous nor altruistic, nor had it even prodded me to approach the people I was specifically targeting.
Maybe it’s like that when we attempt romantic relationships too. While we singles have our own intentions and expectations as we journey, God might be trying to teach us something more vital so that we may become better Christians. Whether we are adding, deducting, discovering or dating, let us always keep asking how each experience brings us closer to the Creator?
Reflection question: What expectation or hang-up is keeping you from grasping a divine lesson?