The Winter of Our Discontent
I am not a winter person. For anyone who knows me, this is not news, but if you don't know me, well, there it is. Snow is pretty on a card, but I am white knuckled driving in it. And if you mix it with ice; I'm staying inside until April. The worse part about this time of year is...well to be honest, Lent. Lent has always felt gloomy to me. As a kid, my mother would harp about what I needed to give up for Lent. I was a really good kid, HONEST! So I didn't have any big thing to "give up" like not playing tricks on my siblings or hiding on Sunday mornings so I didn't have to go to church. So it seemed I always ended up denying myself chocolate or cookies or dessert because I do love those things. So Lent felt like a punishment when I hadn't even done anything wrong! At least as far as I was concerned.
And so Lent is approaching again. I have heard all the "new" thoughts about not giving up anything but instead giving in--giving into spending time reading the Bible, giving into joining one of our Bible/book studies we offer, giving into going to more outreach opportunities. These are lovely ideas, but because I work, I cannot always do these things. So I'm again considering giving something up. But what? And then I read the passages from Luke which comprise the "sermon on the plain." And thought, what if I gave up resentment? What if I gave up holding grudges? What would that look like, I wonder? Sometimes, I find myself grumbling about this person or that person who won't react or think the way I do. And I resent their way of thinking. What if I instead, tried to open my mind to their alternate view? What would that be like? What if I decided that the person who can be such a trial to me at work, instead, held some valid points when discussing things? If I believed that she wasn't trying to railroad me? Perhaps a more open mind would benefit more than just myself. Perhaps opening up my attitude to the possibility that I'm not ALWAYS right, is just what I need to move out of the gloom of Lent and into the sunshine of Easter.
I think I'm gonna try it. Of course, I will not be 100% successful. But I think I'm due for an attitude adjustment right about now. Just don't ask me to drive in the snow. That ain't gonna change any time soon!