I had such great hopes for Lent. I’ve discovered that I have very little self control – especially when it comes to food. I gave up sweets for lent. I love sweets, and I figured that it would truly be a sacrifice for me – the very least I could do for Jesus, the Man who died for me. Well, I am a miserable, undisciplined sinner! I’ve fallen off the sweet wagon more times in 30 days than I care to count.
Just last Sunday, I recommitted myself to my lenten promise. I thought, “There are only two weeks left. I can do this. Two great weeks might just make up for weeks of lackluster sacrifice.” I only made it to Tuesday!
The faculty at our school held a gumbo cook off contest to honor our principal whose birthday we were celebrating. One of the parents made the most wonderful bread pudding with creamy, delicious sauce for dessert. Without even thinking, I dug in, savoring each delectable bite. Mmmmm. Mmmmm!
Just then a fellow teacher commented, “Dana, that looks sweet.” The word “Sweet,” brought me screaching to my senses. Suddenly, I felt as though I had a lump in my throat and a rock in my stomach. I pushed the plate slowly away from myself as guilt rushed in. I didn’t even think of Jesus. I gave the bread pudding no thought whatsoever.
I jumped back up on the “wagon,” and fell off once again on Friday. My son had come in from college. His little sister asked him to bake a batch of cookies with her, and so they did. Afterwards, the two passed around the plate of warm, soft cookies. This dreadful time, I knew what I was doing and did it anyway. I couldn’t hurt their feelings, right? I ate a cookie. I am ashamed. My seven year old has done better with his promise to give up ice cream!
This, I believe, is a lesson in humility. I am a miserable sinner. I need Jesus. Without God, I can do nothing, and I succumb to even the smallest temptation.
Getting back up on that wagon again – only one week to go to the blessed celebration of Easter. I feel so much like the apostles in the garden when Jesus exclaimed, “Can’t you even stay awake with me for one hour?” Lord, how I want to do so! Please give me the grace to love You and be willing to sacrifice for You as You so deserve!