Tomorrow will test my Lenten discipline to the utmost. The Smudgelet and I have been invited out to dinner…. and the Smudgelet’s request has been granted by our indulgent hostess: banoffee pie for pudding! So not only will I have to forgo the banoffee pie, but I shall have a chance to focus my attention on how fortunate I am to have a piece of unadulterated fruit.
Seriously, though, I have never undertaken a Lenten discipline which has been so beneficial to my spiritual wellbeing… and probably my mental and emotional wellbeing too. This contentment thing really is working, God is granting me a real awareness of my blessings and I find myself naturally coveting far less. I even had a long talk about it with a colleague today. It’s easy to say the words, but I find myself truly experiencing a peace with my situation.
I need a bit more discipline, though – somehow I’ve got to get a service prepared for Sunday. I knew it was coming, but hadn’t really taken proper notice of the date…. YET AGAIN! Also it looks like I may have to go back to work later today as, after a day of archiving paperwork, I find myself unable to find the diary which I last saw on the desk where I was working. I have a horrible feeling I’ve archived it!!!
Now, what healthy thing can I make for tea that will take my mind off this desire for forbidden fruit?
I thought this might be a good place to focus on my Lenten discipline this year.
Giving up things: OK, so maybe my main reason for giving up sweet things for Lent is a selfish one. I mean, look at the shape of me! (It is a sad sad fact that, of the few people other than myself who will be reading this, most of them know what shape I am… otherwise I could maybe get by with making out that I am sylph-like in stature. As it is, it would have to be a pretty rotund sylph!). My doctor has bet me that I can’t lose some weight by the end of Lent, knowing that what I lack in willpower I make up for in competetiveness! But it is my lack of control over my willpower which concerns me and which makes this a good Lenten discipline for me. Losing weight will be a bonus – what I actually want to achieve is to strengthen my ability to resist temptation. It used to be far stronger – I have really let things slip. So this Lent I am practising self-control and doing so through sticking to my attempt to lose weight instead of giving up as soon as I get bored or disillusioned.
More important, and already more enriching, I am practising contentment. Not the unhealthy contentment which makes us idle and complacent, but the healthy contentment which appreciates all the good things I have and is grateful for each blessing rather than coveting more.
It was challenged this week by my not even getting an interview for a promotion at work, despite my pride telling me I was definitely well fitted to the job. There were aspects of the new post I longed for, and I must admit one further attraction was the pay rise that would go with it. I would still have enjoyed the fun side of the job, but with slightly extra responsibility and influence. I was gutted when I was informed that I wasn’t being shortlisted and it took great strength and determination to go in to work straight afterwards and commit myself fully to the tasks in hand without showing my utter disappointment and damaged pride (and, if I am honest, my resentment – I was fully prepared not to get the job, but hurt that I wasn’t even interviewed). But already I find that I am content – or at least more content than I might have been – and given the strength to realise that I am one in a million just to have a job I love, to live in a place I really enjoy living. I’d love to be able to afford a house, to reach the end of the month without watching every penny, but I have a lot of good things and my income, in comparison with the rest of the world, still puts me in the top 10% so how can I feel hard done by when each day takes me past at least one Big Issue seller? How can I feel hard done by when I have a job where I can take advantage of the sunshine and go for an hour’s walk in the most beautiful park with good company and marvel at the beauties of nature and the impending arrival of spring? DO I really want to abandon that in the quest for more material goods? SO while the timing may have seemed cruel, my pledge to focus on what I have rather than what I covet has helped me immensely in dealing with this disappointment (and to realise the damage that resentment and anger could cause) and in return this experience has helped me immensely with my Lenten discipline.
SO no, I won’t have a slice of cake, thank you very much 😀
When I put my user name and password into the sign-in page of the wibsite, there was a little box to tick stating “remember me”. As I ticked it, I thought to myself that I hoped it did.
Silly reason for not having blogged for ages. I have been using the laptop instead of the PC and my homepage on the PC is my Wibsite admin page, which I have not yet even bookmarked on the laptop. Funny how a tiny reminder can make such a difference.
Hmmm… I hope there’s a box to tick: Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom…. and that the only password I need is the name of Jesus. (Having given up sweet things for Lent, I also find myself hoping there are cookies in Heaven! 😀
Life has been busy, fun, challenging, and wonderful… with a few bits of “trying” in there. Work is great – all the natural niggles of close-team-working are irrelevent when put into comparison with the pleasure, good company and reward I get from my job.
Going there was a step of faith (guess who’s preaching on Abraham next Sunday!) but in doing so I have definitely found a vocation. Not being able to blog about work in any degree of detail beyond the excruciatingly vague is maybe another reason why I’ve not been around so much! That, and trying to put in as much overtime as possible to make it more likely that the month runs out before the bank balance does (a rare occurance indeed – but whoever said that vocations would be easy?)