Here we are at the start of Lent, and I’m still at a loss as to what I should be sacrificing for the next 40 days. Alcohol? Food items? I’ve already permanently sacrificed those things.
Lent is a time to sacrifice habits you love, gain a true appreciation for the sacrifices Jesus made [which were well beyond anything mortal man can comprehend) and draw closer to God. [More on my Faith in Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely, Rat in the Church Pew and Better Angels of My Nature]
Yet here I am, stuck at the starting line with no sacrificial pain to run toward.
Last year I gave up cigars for Lent, but I really don’t smoke them often enough to make it a worthy sacrifice. I’m also not as ga-ga over cigars as I was this time last year, so I don’t think the sacrifice would be strong enough.
Coffee would be a major sacrifice, but nobody would be able to come within 10 feet of me without having to worry about me chewing them up and spitting them out.
One of my weekend goals is to find something and stick to it. I’ll be a few days late, but better late than never, right?
This much I know: I was lost before I found my Faith, and it has become everything to me. But I still sin. All the time. Not because I want to, but because I can’t help myself.
Hopefully, I’m better than I used to be.
Before my conversion — and for some time after it — the haze of OCD and the related addictions exhausted the mind and body and incapacitated me for days and weeks at a time. I was useless to my wife and children. I let friendships suffer because getting the binge and then collapsing under the weight of it was more appealing than being a good friend.
I became a nightmare for co-workers, especially during The Eagle-Tribune days, hovering over page editors and treating reporters more like a disease than the wonderful, talented and hard-working souls they were.
I lied to a lot of people about a lot of things and had the audacity to think I was above others, no matter how screwed up I was.
I’ve asked for and gotten a lot of forgiveness along the way, but for those of you out there who suffered in my wake over the years, I’ll say here that I’m sorry and ask you too for forgiveness.
Above all, though, I say a heartfelt sorry to The Man Upstairs.
I need to try a lot harder to get the sin out of my life. But I know I’ve probably got a lot of pissing left to do.
Sober and abstinent or not, we addicts have a natural-born tendency to let things get between us and our Higher Power.
Redemption is a lifelong journey.
I hope I get it right.
For now, I just need to settle on what to give up for Lent.
I am taking on some extra tasks, like helping out with the RCIA (Right of Christian Initiation for Adults) class, doing a program called Lenten Longings with Erin, and stepping up my saying of The Rosary.
But it’s not enough.
I got a great life right now, and I have to earn it.
I’ll let you know what I’ve decided to do by Monday.