What is it about Lent and me?
I just can’t give up.
When I give up coffee, I eat more chocolate.
When I give up fast food, I watch more TV.
When I put my loose change in the mite box,
I expect the box to be grateful.
Every Lent, I am an errant driver in a field
Striking the tree that I was determined to miss.
Forty days seem like forty years
When I know I will fail in forty seconds.
So this Lent, I am going to give up giving up.
Instead, I will assert my rights.
I will focus wholeheartedly on my rights.
I will hold closely to myself the things that I know are mine.
I will have a good time this Lent
because I will take on what I know to be true.
But, knowing my track-record in past Lents,
I will start with the right to keep my expectations low.
I will insist on the right to be wrong.
For forty days I think I can live with not always being so right.
I will assert my right to flawed.
Do you think for six weeks, I can be free of seeming so terrific?
I will assent to my right to be uncertain
For a month, perhaps I will discover faith.
I will claim my right to be ignorant
After a season of knowing less, maybe I will know mystery.
I will act on my right to be weak
And, for a moment, I won’t pretend I own what strength I have.
I will revel in my right to be foolish
And catch a glimpse of how I am seen.
I will rest in my right to be a creature
And enjoy for a second my part in the creation.
I will exercise my right to surrender
and live, for now, in my right not to be God.
Ash Wednesday, 2012
Copyright The Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns, 2005