Lost My Way Again
(While writing this post a song kept going through my head. This song is unknown to you unless you are a member of the Minardi family or an old family friend. Our mother wrote songs of praise which she used in her own personal prayer and worship. She also shared these songs with her family, "prayer group" and "Healing Light Community." After she died our father, along with a few friends, grouped our mom's songs into a book called "Peace and Joy". Many of her songs have a special place in my heart, whether it is the meaning of the song itself or the memory it evokes of my mother. This particular song, "Lost My Way Again" touches me for both those reasons. I snapped this picture of the song from my oldest daughter Joanne's copy of "Peace and Joy." As you can tell she wrote notes on the songs she loved and "Lost My Way Again" is one of her favorites too.)
Okay, confession time (seems apropos being the time of year...) I always start Lent out raring to go. I have what I’m giving up lined up, spiritual reading ready to be read and a family sacrifice picked out. All good right? And it is good the first week. I’m on task, focused, feeling good about meeting my spiritual needs and preparing for Easter. Then maybe a little life intrudes and I stumble and don’t get that spiritual reading in or cheat, just once, on what I gave up. Maybe I eat meat on Friday, completely forgetting until after the juicy hamburger has been consumed (the “Oop effect”). Or this could possibly happen--on a Friday I’ll pull London broils out of the oven only to have my daughter say “Um, mom, isn’t it Friday?”--all right, all right it has happened once...or twice... And then there is the “Wow, didn’t realize it was going to be this hard to give up (insert hard to give up item like coffee...) so I think I’ll give up mushrooms instead (yeah, not so hard to give up). So it’s hopeless right? if I’m not going to be perfect this Lent why even try. "Lost my way again, stumbled and I lost it. Lost my way again, stumbled and I lost it."
But what if being perfect isn't my goal, but it is the working towards that perfection that is really what Lent should be for me. Maybe I should take this time the Church and God has set aside, to focus on the striving for a “change of heart” and for striving to live a holier life? Should I not focus so much on the technical deeds themselves but to use these 40 days as a time to humbly combat my one...or two...thousand faults through prayer and fasting? Instead of obsessing how I'm sure to fail during Lent maybe I should focus and embrace the struggle of the sacrificing. When I inevitably do fail, I know it is just a stumble along the way. It is through prayer, and through the struggle itself, that I find my way to the end, a little humbled,a little less self absorbed and a little more charitable towards others and their struggles.
"...Lost my way again, stumbled and I lost it. No matter how many times I go astray, You'll always be with me, to help me find my way."
May you find Peace and Joy this Lent!