“Yet even now – oracle of the Lord – return to me with your whole heart… For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love” – Joel 2:12-13
David stood at the white board scribbling enthusiastically what he knew about setting goals. He drew flow charts and diagrams, arrows and measurable numbers. He encouraged his peers to think about their own goals and to think about their collective goals for the student newspaper.
He broke the goals into little steps, manageable mini-accomplishments to work toward a bigger goal. And he talked about accountability – how could they help each other reach those goals? David pointed out the need for support, encouragement, teamwork and regular evaluation of their progress. He divvied up the tasks and he set a deadline.
David is one of my students. As his lesson continued, I thought, “Isn’t this a little like Lent?”
During Lent, we set goals. We need encouragement. We look for support. We hold each other accountable. We evaluate how we are doing along the way.
Unlike “goal setting” in the traditional sense of the word, our Lenten promises have an ultimate goal: greater union with God – a deeper relationship with the One who loves us and so deeply desires the happiness of our hearts.
Yet, a lot like setting goals – be it New Years resolutions, academic achievements, fitness ideas, etc. – we can fall off the wagon.
As we near the end of Lent, it is quite possible we let some of our Lenten promises fall. We are subject to temptation, we lose track, we simply forget. Just like when we set other goals, it is easy to grow weary of the process.
But, here is the good news: Holy Week is almost here. With Palm Sunday and the Triduum just around the corner, we have all the more reason to recommit to our Lenten promises. Whether that means getting yourself to confession or simply getting back on track with something you agreed to do – or both – get back on the wagon.
God is waiting. You are ready. Dive in to a deeper relationship with Him.