Sunday, March 18, 2012

Failing at Our Lenten Disciplines

I honestly can't decide if I'm failing at my Lenten discipline or not.  I was determined that I would spend the season of Lent refusing to fret, and I think I've only had one or two fretful days, those kind of days where worry spikes, and eventually, I find myself in a dark spiral that I only get out of by going to bed and getting up to face a new day.

So, in a way, it's a success.  I've prayed more, instead of fretting.  I've tried to let go and let God, as they say in the Recovery communities.

I'm rather horrified at how many elements of my life seem to conspire to send me down the fret spiral.  Trying to be resolute in my discipline of not worrying, I'm astonished at how often my mind drifts towards worry. 

And I've been amazed at how events blindside me.  I'd been expecting more lay offs at work, but I didn't think that they'd come until closer to Summer.  I didn't think I'd lose any members of my department, because our classes are jam-packed.  Imagine my surprise when lay offs were announced on March 7, and 3 members of my department were on the list.  Sigh.  I hadn't even started to worry about lay offs when bam, they happened.

And worrying wouldn't have helped anyway, would it?  I couldn't have made the lay offs not happen.  I could make a back up plan if they did come, but until I know the scope, it makes no sense to plan for that kind of development:  will we lose everyone, or 5 people, or a percentage?  My worrying would have absolutely no effect.  I know that intellectually, but I'm still not at the point of being able to control those emotions.

I'm surrounded by people who are not doing as well with their Lenten disciplines as they had wished.  But I firmly believe the attempt is worth it.  We learn much, even as we fail.

And the good news is that God will love us anyway.  Perhaps our failed Lenten discipline will bring us closer to God, as we try again, as we ask for help and guidance, as we try to be resolute again.

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