No, not a Borg invasion.
Today is a day of making pancakes and desserts in preparation for Shrove Tuesday celebrations at church this evening. It's a day of trying to get too much done while pacing myself so I last through our Mardi Gras celebration at Tuesday Night Sunday School. It's the day I think about that question and how I'll answer it this year.
You know the one - the Lent question.
What are you giving up for Lent?
I could give up chocolate, but my God is a loving God and would never want me to torture myself. I could plan to read the Bible more or pray more or myriad other things, but with five kids and chronic illness and pain, any plans I make are derailed more often that not, and I'm fairly sure God doesn't want me to be more stressed out because I'm trying to fit one more thing into my day or failing to do what I'd hoped.
This year I'm giving up giving up something for Lent. I'm fairly sure I can accomplish that. I've had lots of practice at giving up things lately - many things I enjoy doing but can't because of my physical limitations due to PsA and AS; gluten due to my recent celiac diagnosis; getting an adequate amount of sleep due to sick kids and waking up in pain - and I don't think I have it within me to give up one more thing.
Instead I'm going to resist the concept of giving up something for Lent and instead I'm going to just plain resist. Resist is a command that is found throughout scripture - from the midwives who resisted Pharaoh to Jesus who resisted temptation. It is a word that has jumped out at me over the past few weeks and stayed with me as I move through my days.
We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now that I've decided that my theme this Lent is "resist" ... just what is it that I'm going to resist?
I'm going to resist typical tired/in pain/hurried responses to things and to people.
Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.
I'm going to resist anger, worry and impatience when things aren't going as I'd planned and have faith that God has a plan and is guiding me safely on my journey.
In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the LORD establishes their steps.
I'm going to resist being defensive when someone says or does something I perceive as negative or wrong and instead accept it as a way to grow as a person or a starting point for a conversation - not an argument.
When I am able to resist the temptation to judge others,
I can see them as teachers of forgiveness in my life,
reminding me that I can only have peace of mind
when I forgive rather than judge.
In resisting these things and more, I hope to grow as a person this Lenten season so I may follow the path God has laid before me a bit less clumsily.
What is your Lenten journey going to look like?