A little over a week ago, fresh from my wonderful retreat, I was enjoying a run. It was a beautiful sunny day. I was thinking as I ran that it was nice to finally feel like I was back in shape, at least for a mother of nine. I was moving to the sounds of an 80’s radio station and loving it. I couldn’t help but sing along a bit when, “You Dropped the Bomb on Me,” came on. It was a great day.
Then, out of the blue, wipe out. Not a small wipe out mind you, but a full, ankle wrenching, graceless, sprawled out fall. I was on the ground before I even realized what had happened. I caught myself with my hands, unfortunately I was holding my phone in one of them. Thank the Lord I had a screen protector on it that saved my screen. Of course, to make matters worse I fell off the sidewalk into a yard that was somewhat muddy. Mama was down.
I stood up hoping to just shake it off and continue with my glorious day despite the minor hiccup. Sadly, the ankle wasn’t cooperating. I tried and tried again, finishing my route was not going to happen. I called Tate and asked him to come and pick up his gimpy wife.
Isn’t this the way of things? Just when you think you have things in order and have turned your mind to doing what is right and holy, it all comes crashing down. Jes was just mentioning to me recently that since she has gotten back from the retreat she has been exceptionally uncharitable to her family despite her resolution to the contrary. Why did it seem so hard to be calm and kind?
I have heard it said many times, and it is so true, that whenever we try to turn our hearts to God, the Devil is all over us like white on rice. He senses he is losing his foothold in our life, and redoubles his efforts to tempt us to sin. His ploy here is to make us feel like we can’t do it and so why bother. He wants us to give up and settle. He wants to separate us from the love of God and true happiness. He wants to isolate us.
We are just a little over a week into our Lent. It can be easy before Lent to have great resolutions. Sadly, it is far more difficult to stick to these. We must know that the Devil does not want us to grow in relationship with Christ. He seeks to isolate us and so he tempts us to forget about those things we were going to do. They were too hard anyway. God loves us just the way we are. We stumble, we fall, we find ourselves lying in the dirt instead of basking in the warmth of God’s love as we had hoped.
For those of us who have remained faithful to our Lenten goals, God bless and keep up the good work! For those of us who are struggling, pick yourself back up and try, try, try again. Call for help. Go to God in prayer, seek the encouragement of someone you know will challenge you, remind yourself that you cannot do it without the grace of God and ACCEPT His grace He desires to pour out upon you. It is never too late to pick yourself back up and turn your face back to the sun until the moment of our death.
As for my Lent so far, I have been fairly faithful with many goals, but definitely have some room for improvement on others. The Devil is on me, but I have an ace in the hole in Christ who can beat anything the Devil can throw at me. I will rededicate myself to turning towards God in every small detail of my life and enjoying the gift of each day. If I can do this with a pure heart united to the Will of Christ, the Devil will flee before me as the coward he is.
I encouraged Jes to keep up the good fight, and she has. She is up to the task at hand. The ankle is healing slowly. I don’t spring back quite so quick as I used to I suppose! Running well or not, I desire above all to have a holy Lent and not settle to lie on the ground whenever I may fall. Jesus, grant me the courage and strength to remain faithful to the sacrifices I seek to make for love of you. JMJ