Seriously, though, each of us starts Lent with lots of great ideas and good intentions. We begin with everything mapped out, we have a nice list of all the things we are going to give up, the sacrifices we are going to make. And then God steps in – He sends us on detours, sometimes through very rough terrain. We like to take the smoothly paved scenic route; He likes to go off-roading.
Just a few hours into the beginning of Lent, my Ash Wednesday plans were majorly derailed, and I was not too happy about it. God had a better plan for me, but I had to make the choice to accept it (with as much joy as I could muster), or fight against it. Fighting God’s Will is pretty futile, but it’s a hard lesson for us to learn.
It’s good to have your plan, but if God chooses to tweak your plan, let Him. Allowing God to direct our Lent, accepting the penances and detours He sends, is often the harder thing to do, and that’s why it’s so beneficial for our souls. The sooner we figure that out and really practice it, the sooner we open ourselves up to the authentic peace and joy God wants to give us.