In Christianity, the Lenten season is the time for renewal.
In reflections on the sacrifices of their savior, Christians take the 40 days before the celebration of the resurrection to prepare, often giving up something that makes them feel improvement in their life.
For some people it is a simple desire, like my mom who always gave up bread. She usually ended up eating a little healthier overall and would lose about 10 pounds which made her feel better.
I knew another woman who gave up complaining. She acknowledged not only that she complained a lot but that she genuinely enjoyed it. It was quite entertaining watching her spit compliments when she was angry about something.
Naturally it makes people feel better when they find themselves laughing in unexpected situations, but it was also uplifting to be in an environment with less negativity overall.
Both of these women were very consistent in their Lenten sacrifices, and I don’t mean in just their yearly choice.
The most admirable thing about experiencing Lent with them was their consistent attempt to fulfill their oaths.
Notice I did not say it was their consistent ability to abstain, because I witnessed those occasional slip-ups that usually happen to human beings. When it comes to giving up weekly fresh-made doughnuts or griping about stinky diapers, all I can say is the struggle is real.
What was so admirable was watching them continue to struggle even when they failed.
It did not matter if mom had eaten meat loaf before remembering it had bread crumbs in it, because she would just start over again. It wasn’t about how many days she had been without bread, it was about trying to continue that status for a specific period of time.
I’ve recently heard about other resolutions that were broken accidentally, but the individual committing the infraction didn’t let that be the end of their personal promise.
Lent is a nice time of renewal. It’s a good time to choose a habit to keep or break for a set period of time.
It’s not about how many days of the 40 that the goal is met, although that would be ideal, but about continuing to attempt through that period.
We know that it is difficult to change habits and that many times the reason people do not succeed in their goals is that once they fail they use it as an excuse to not try again.
I am calling shenanigans on all of us and issue a challenge: Chose a change.
Whatever it is in your life that you want to be different, I challenge you to make the choice to change it.
Maybe you want to quit smoking or maybe you want to start exercising. Now is a good time to do that because when you have a tough day and you break, you have already committed to renewing your efforts.
According to popular legend, it took Edison 1,000 times to get the light bulb right. That was 999 times he had to try again.
Let’s look at Lent as a good try-again period. Maybe the consistency of trying for just 40 days will shine a light on a small success even if that’s just being better for a few weeks each year.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.