Moving home not only happened at Spring but also happened during lent. So while preparing for moving home, I was also getting ready for Easter. I realized that the two weren’t terribly different. Both meant leaving behind some things in order to prepare for a new life.
When preparing to leave the apartment where I had lived for 9 months, the hardest part was saying farewell to the community that had formed while I was there. Besides getting to know some of the staff, I also became friends with some people who live there. So I invited the few people that I have grown to care for and appreciate, to dinner. We spent a few hours together sharing a meal and laughing together and I was able to say thank you to each of them for making my time there a little easier. That was an important piece of the transition for me. It wasn’t goodbye but I’ll certainly see them a lot less.
As far as Lent goes, I struggled this year to know what to leave behind in terms of my personal life in preparation for the resurrection and new life of Easter. In meditating about this, I concluded that maybe I might swear a little too much in my private life.
That’s right; swear.
I’m not one of those guys where every second word that comes out of my mouth is the F-word (not that I’m judging that in any way), but when I’m alone and things don’t go well for me I tend to use some pretty foul language in my mind as I try and work through those things. I do think that has gotten worse since I have had some pretty dark days and nights (in a hospital bed or wheelchair) dealing with my illness in the past year. I’m not in any way beating myself up over that. I believe it is a perfectly human reaction to swear and a good way to get some stress and frustration out of me. Plus, I just learned from a friend that it has been scientifically proven that people who swear are more honest than those who don’t…
However, through Lent I felt strongly that instead of swearing during my frustration it would be better for me and my heart and soul to turn to God in prayer during those times rather than just yelling in my mind.
And interestingly enough, though I have been far from perfect on that front during Lent, I do believe this practice has helped me personally. In those dark moments, I find myself being reminded to pray more and to converse with God at those times. And quite honestly, it has helped me not have as many moments of frustration along the way. I seem to be able to let some things roll off my back more easily now.
This practice is helping me prepare for a new life; for Easter!
So yes, I am fasting from swearing for Lent.
Don’t judge me.