Holy Week havoc

Appointment for confession scheduled, check. Stack of eight different Lent and Easter devotionals compiled, check. Meatless meals planned, check. Choir robe laundered and Easter dress picked out, check.

I’m trying really hard to be ready for the Easter Triduum. It only comes once a year, so I want to be prepared to celebrate it well. I will do my best to be super-disciplined, extra-penitent, and unflappably focused.

Well… My preparations can be helpful, but they are not fail-proof. And they can lead to an unhealthy self-absorption, which causes me to forget that, although I plant and water the seeds, it is God who makes them grow.

One of my favorite Sunday school teachers recently commented on our stubborn slowness to learn anything. “But God is very, very patient and gentle in working with us,” he said. “And one of the blessings of following the church year is that if we mess up, we get to do it again next year.”

This is wonderfully freeing for perfectionists like me. I may have grand plans for how I’m going to be a much holier person after celebrating Lent and Easter. But if—okay, fine; when—I don’t observe these special seasons the way I would like to, or the way God would like me to…He is patient with me. And there’s always next year.

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