We’re about to sound the quarter-time buzzer for Lent!
I love Thomas Kelly’s spiritual wisdom.
“If you slip and stumble and forget God for an hour, and assert your old proud self, and rely upon your own clever wisdom, don’t spend too much time in anguished regrets and self-accusations but begin again, just where you are.” (Testament of Devotion: 34)
It’s simple, practical, and right.
We gain nothing by beating ourselves up over failure. We gain everything by forging fresh resolve. The past moment does not have the same value as the present moment. What we have done or not done does not carry the same weight as what we choose to do right now.
God lives in the perpetual present. He keeps less score than we do and is unfazed by our fickleness.
Lent can be a roller-coaster; moments of great joy and connection with Christ followed by periods of painful neglect and busyness. At times we find ourselves soaring with anticipation, then we feel overwhelmed by our shallowness and failure. Gratitude and guilt form a strange marriage.
How we respond to the peaks and troughs matters more than the peaks and troughs themselves.
If you’ve hit a trough in your Lenten journey, “don’t spend too much time in anguished regrets or self-accusations but begin again, just where you are.”
Father God, thank you for the fresh starts you grant me—over and over. I begin again, now. All glory to You and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.