Each year during Lent, I hope for an epic fail. Don’t get me wrong, I also hope each year to try my best to be the best Christian I can be. Lent is a gift that allows us to focus on being more attentive to prayer, to let go of our own self centeredness through fasting and abstinence, and to finding ways to serve those who are the least among us. But above all else during Lent I pray that I might fail, so that God will succeed. Recently a friend shared with me that for most of his life when something good happened, he would immediately take the credit. When something bad occurred, he would blame that on God. Like my friend, my ego too often gets in the way of living a successful Christian life. It is easy to forget that it is only through the power of God that any of my successes are possible.
Ironically, it is in times of failure that I can most recognize my need for God’s presence in my life. This is why I value Lent so much. Lent presents me with the opportunity to make the commitment to become a better person. Each Lent I am challenged to look at my life and find the areas that need the most work. Lent gives me a reason to pick one or two of those areas that need growth and commit to changing them from the better. It also allows me to fail miserably in my attempts. Those failures are a helpful reminder that ultimately my best bet is to rely on God’s power rather than my own.
If you find yourself struggling with Lent, if you feel you are failing in your attempts to grow during this season, try turning your failures over to God. He wants to succeed where you have failed. If you allow him to, he will.