The Shape of My Lenten Journey

The early process
Involved the identification of
A problem
A deficit
Strategies to resolve it
Embracing a particular goal.

I made a big effort at the beginning
Some early success
Mixed with
Then celebrated the process.
“Lent is a blessing on the road to self-improvement.”

Life took over.
Early success
Transformed into failures of all sizes
Teaching a greater lesson
Accompanied by feelings of futility
As if I should have known
This lesson
All along.
I reveal my folly anew
Each Lenten season.

Near the end
The initial goal died,
Good intentions
Swallowed by my predictable humanity
A condition I could not tame or shake.

I’m now anticipating Holy Week then Easter
All will be made new somehow.
I will try again next year.

Perhaps something must die,
Work itself into a mess
For Easter (or God?) to be waiting
Ready to renew
My willingness to
Let go.

Nancy Ross

Nancy Ross is an art history professor by day and a sociologist of religion by night. She lives in St. George, Utah with her husband and two daughters and co-hosts the Faith Transitions podcast.

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1 Response

  1. Violadiva says:

    I love this, Nancy. I love that you still try every year. That’s the real meaningful part. ❤️

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